Pirates designate lefty reliever Joe Beimel for assignment

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Contenders interested in adding another left-handed reliever to the bullpen mix may take a look at Joe Beimel, who was designated for assignment by the Pirates.

Beimel had a sub-4.00 ERA every season from 2005 to 2010, but his ERA stands at 5.33 after serving up a homer to right-handed slugger Ryan Braun yesterday and he hasn’t even been effective versus left-handed hitters this year.

His velocity is also down slightly, although Beimel never succeeded because of impressive raw stuff and his pre-2011 track record means the 34-year-old will likely draw interest from another team if the Pirates release him.

He’s owed about $400,000 for the remainder of the season.

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.