Dodgers, Twins, Reds interested in Skip Schumaker

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General manager John Mozeliak has made no secret about the Cardinals shopping Skip Schumaker and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Dodgers, Twins, and possibly the Reds are among the teams interested.

St. Louis has scaled back Schumaker’s playing time in recent years, giving him 400 plate appearances in 2011 and 304 plate appearances in 2012, but he’s versatile defensively and always gets on base at a decent clip.

At age 33 he’s owed $1.5 million in 2013, so he’d be affordable as a part-time player or even a pure bench bat. Los Angeles seems like the frontrunners because a) they’re trying to acquire literally every player in the world, and b) new Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire worked with Schumaker in St. Louis and is said to have a good relationship with him.

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.