Adam Kilgore has an interesting article up about the job status of Nationals GM Mike Rizzo. The Nats just extended him per the terms of his current deal, so sure, that’s a vote of confidence. But there is some weirdness afoot too:
In April, Mark Lerner, the Nationals’ principal owner, told the Washington Times that the team had begun talks to sign Rizzo to a multiyear deal. Those talks, according to people familiar with the situation, have not happened.
And when is a contract extension not the most welcome thing in the world? Maybe when you’re riding high and believe you deserve a new deal altogether that ups your salary more significantly.
Palace intrigue and Kremlinology isn’t the most important thing in baseball, but it is kinda interesting.
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.