Cubs among teams to submit bids on Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin

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UPDATE: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs were among the teams who submitted a bid. The Hanwha Eagles have four business days to decide whether they are going to accept the highest bid.

7:42 PM: We learned early last week that the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization were planning to post left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin for MLB teams. We may soon find out who had the winning bid.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, bids for Hyun-Jin were due by 5 p.m. ET today. While Grant doesn’t have confirmation, he believes the Rangers may have made a bid.

The Eagles have the right to accept or decline the bid, as Hyun-Jin can’t leave Korea as an outright free agent until 2014. If they accept, Hyun-Jin will have the opportunity to negotiate a contract with the winning team. He has already hired Scott Boras to represent him, which puts an interesting wrinkle in the proceedings. Assuming a contract is eventually worked out, the Eagles will then receive the posting fee.

Hyun-Jin, 25, has been one of the best starters in KBO since winning the Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season as a teenager. He’s not a hard-thrower, mostly sitting in the high-80s to low-90s (pitch data courtesy of MyKBO.net), but his changeup is considered a quality pitch.

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.