Report: Red Sox to consider Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin for manager

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Let the search begin.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Red Sox will “consider” Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin among “a field of candidates” for their managerial vacancy.

Mackanin, who has been with the Phillies since the 2009 season, previously served as an interim manager with the Pirates in 2005 and the Reds in 2007.

Jon Heyman mentioned Mackanin among potential managerial candidates in a column for SI.com earlier today, though not specifically in connection with the Red Sox.

While high-profile names like Bobby Valentine and Joe Torre have been ruled out for the job, Heyman hears that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is targeting two “surprise” candidates without previous managerial experience in the big leagues. Mackanin does have previous managerial experience in the majors, though not in an official capacity. Heyman also mentions Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Nationals third base coach as potential managerial candidates this winter.

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.