Mark Teixeira is in the best shape of his life

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This doesn’t quite qualify as a BSOML story because he didn’t use the magic words, but at this time of the year I’ll accept any story that leads with weight loss and conditioning. Mark Teixeira:

Mark Teixeira says that he is already about 10 pounds lighter thanks to diet and exercise, but what the Yankees first baseman really wants to do is bulk up his batting average from the left side … “I feel really, really good,” Teixeira said. “I’m eating a lot healthier; I’ve always eaten pretty healthy, but [I have used] the juice diet, making sure I’m not adding any unwanted calories. I’ve been able to run so much more, just being in better shape and getting over some nagging little injuries. Being able to move more and eat better really helps.”

Every story we see about a ballplayer’s weight loss means we’re one day closer to spring training getting underway.

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.