Ordonez to buy stake in Venezuelan Winter League team

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Veteran outfielder Magglio Ordonez is waiting by the phone, hoping a team will call and allow him to continue his major league playing career. But if nobody makes an offer, he has a backup plan.

According to Robert Downs of the Detroit Free Press, Ordonez is “poised to purchase shares” in the Caribes de Anzoátegui, a top winter league organization in the 38-year-old’s native Venezuela.

But Ordonez must wait until he officially files retirement paperwork before taking an active role in the club. Via the Free Press:

“Being the active player I am, I can’t assume any type of position in the Venezuelan league, not as an owner and not as a manager,” Ordoñez said in a recent interview. “But in the future I think so.”

Caribes owner Rafael Gruszka has offered Ordoñez shares of the club, but when he will retire remains to be seen.

Ordonez batted .255/.303/.331 with five home runs and 32 RBI in 92 games last season for Detroit.

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.