The Indians are thinking about bringing back Travis Hafner or Jim Thome

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The Indians lost their DH when they wisely declined to exercise the option they had on Travis Hafner. A possible replacement? How about Travis Hafner? Or, barring that, Jim Thome? That’s what Jon Heyman is reporting, anyway.

Hafner played in only 66 games last season, hitting .228/.346/.438 with 12 homers. Thome, who is seven years Hafner’s senior, played in only 58, hitting .252/.344/.442 with eight dingers.

So, no, neither one is an ideal solution. At least not unless they invent a surgery to turn one of them instantly right-handed and the rosters are expanded to 26, allowing the Indians to run a DH-only platoon.

But hey, famous names.

 

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.