From Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com comes word that the Phillies have signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league contract. The agreement also comes with an invitation to spring training.
To many, the move probably seems like a reaction to the 25-game amphetamine suspension handed down this afternoon to starting catcher Carlos Ruiz. And it does work well as one. But the deal was actually finalized before news of that punishment spread.
Quintero batted .232/.257/.341 with one home run and 19 RBI in 144 plate appearances this past season for the Royals before being designated for assignment near the end of June. The 33-year-old then signed on with the Brewers but spent the rest of the summer with their Triple-A affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee.
Quintero will presumably team with Eric Kratz on starting catching duties for the first month of 2013.
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.