Matt Garza’s elbow injury kept the Cubs from being able to trade him and then kept him from pitching in August and September, but it won’t keep him from a normal offseason routine.
Garza had his elbow scanned by doctors earlier this week and Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that he was given a clean bill of health.
Garza is arbitration eligible for the final time in 2013 and will be a free agent after the season, so expect the trade rumors to start swirling again if he looks healthy in the early going.
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.