Baseball announces expanded pension benefits for players who retired between 1947 and 1980

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Prior to 1980, players were vested in baseball’s pension plan after completing at least four years of service time. Since the 1980 season, all players are vested after just one day of service in the majors (as your service time increases, you get greater benefits).

Baseball and the MLBPA announced today that players who retired during the earlier period but had fewer than four years of service time will be getting retroactive benefits:

Players who retired between January 1, 1947 and January 1, 1980 with no retirement benefits for their Major League Service will receive an annual payment of up to $10,000, jointly funded by the Commissioner’s Office and the MLBPA. The collective bargaining parties have committed to these payments for an initial period of two years. Payments beyond the initial period will be discussed in collective bargaining.

That’s not a ton of money, but for the most part, guys who fell into that less-than-four-year hole didn’t make a lot of money either.

Regardless, it’s good to see Major League Baseball at least trying to take care of its own.

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.