Rangers ink Brett Tomko to minor league contract

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Big news out of Rangers camp. OK, not really.

According to the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com, Texas has agreed to a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Brett Tomko.

The 37-year-old hasn’t pitched in a major league game since September 2009 and is still recovering from the nerve problem that cost him all of the 2010 season.

The Rangers are hoping that he will be ready to contribute in some fashion by the middle of May.

Tomko, a second round pick of the Reds all the way back in 1995, posted a 3.77 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 33/13 K/BB ratio over 57 1/3 innings for the Athletics and Yankees in his last full season. He may have a little something left, but he will probably have to do some serious damage at Triple-A Round Rock this year before the Rangers give him a look in the big league bullpen.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.