Kevin Correia asks the Pirates to trade him

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Demoted to the bullpen last week so that Wandy Rodriguez could take his spot in the rotation, Kevin Correia has asked the Pirates to trade him.

“I want to start,” Correia told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “For that to happen, I’ll have to go someplace else.”

He then went out and allowed four runs in his first relief appearance.

General manager Neil Huntington said the Pirates “are open to a trade, but it’s got to be something that makes us better.” And because Correia is unlikely to fetch much of a return Huntington may feel that keeping him around as rotation depth in case of an injury is more valuable.

Correia is certainly deserving of a spot in some team’s rotation, as he’s started 150 career games with a 4.63 ERA and has a 4.24 ERA in 19 starts this season. On the other hand 31-year-old back-of-the-rotation starters with $3 million salaries aren’t exactly a hot commodity, particularly when they’re impending free agents like Correia.

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.