Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux pulled his name from consideration for the Red Sox’s managerial opening back in November, but said yesterday that he did not do the same with the Cubs’ job. He simply lost out to Dale Sveum.
Maddux cited family reasons for pulling out of the running in Boston, but later interviewed with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer for the Chicago gig. At the time Epstein indicated that Maddux removed his name from consideration in Chicago for similar reasons, but Maddux is now denying that was the case.
Maddux also told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he definitely would have kept his brother, Greg Maddux, within the Cubs organization as a coach in some capacity, although not necessarily as the pitching coach. Instead now Greg has joined Mike with the Rangers, serving as a special assistant to the front office.
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.