The Joe Blanton-to-the-Orioles talks have hit a snag

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the talks between the Phillies and the Orioles over Joe Blanton have hit a snag.  Before looking at the story, I assumed it involved the O’s inspection of Blanton’s medical records and their presumed discovery that his blood type is, in fact, rich, creamy Yoo-Hoo.  I was wrong, though. It’s money:

They likely could acquire the 31-year-old Blanton for a mid-level minor leaguer, but the Phillies also want to shed what remains on Blanton’s $8.5 million contract — which is approximately $3 million. And, according to an industry source, the Orioles appear hesitant to absorb that figure for a pitcher who is considered a mid-to-late-rotation innings eater.

There’s not a ton of reason for the Phillies to trade Blanton if they don’t get any salary relief. I mean, it’s not like the O’s are going to send them a top prospect. So this could conceivably scuttle things.

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.