Rockies acquire Reid Brignac from Rays

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Last week the Rays cleared two 40-man roster spots by designating infielders Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson for assignment.

They traded Johnson to the Royals as the player to be named later from the big James Shields swap and now they’ve traded Brignac to the Rockies for a PTBNL or cash considerations.

It makes sense that they didn’t have to simply waive Brignac, because despite hitting just .227 with a .586 OPS in 256 games as a big leaguer and not even producing much at Triple-A he’s a good defensive shortstop and former top prospect who’s still just 27 years old.

Brignac won’t be playing shortstop in Colorado unless Troy Tulowitzki gets hurt again, but he could work his way into the mix at the other infield spots while serving as a utility man.

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.