Red Sox “mostly focused on” Dempster, Sanchez, Lohse, Marcum, Liriano

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As the Red Sox continue to look for rotation help Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that they’re “mostly focused on” Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse, Shaun Marcum, and Francisco Liriano.

McAdam calls Sanchez “something of a longshot” because the Red Sox probably won’t want to pay his asking price and Dempster reportedly already turned down Boston’s two-year, $25 million offer, but it’s possible they could go three years to get him.

For now the Red Sox have Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Felix Doubront in the rotation, with John Lackey likely as well depending on how he returns from Tommy John elbow surgery and Franklin Morales around as a fifth option.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says the Red Sox are in “serious negotiations” with Dempster right now.

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.