Carlos Marmol “very pissed off” about abuse charges, files blackmail countersuit

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Carlos Marmol arrived at Cubs camp today and spoke to reporters about the abuse charges he’s facing in the Dominican Republic.

Details have been scarce, but a 24-year-old woman filed a civil suit alleging a domestic assault incident in October. Marmol said today that he gave the woman a ride home from a party and then heard about the allegations on the radio, at which point he called a lawyer.

Marmol described himself as “very pissed off” and has filed a countersuit against the woman for blackmail and extortion. “They tried to hurt me,” Marmol said, via Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “I didn’t do anything. The stuff she said is not true. It’s about money.”

Cubs president Theo Epstein spoke in support of the reliever, saying: “Every piece of information that we were able to gather backs up Carlos’ story that he’s guilty of no wrongdoing whatsoever and may in fact be a victim here if this case continues to be pursued like this.”

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.