Cubs likely to trade Matt Garza this week

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Matt Garza shot down yesterday’s report that the Cubs informed him he was going to be traded, but that obviously doesn’t mean he’s staying in Chicago. In fact, David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that Garza is likely to be traded this week.

According to Kaplan “several teams have decided they are willing to engage Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer in serious negotiations” during the All-Star break rather than waiting until the July 31 trade deadline. Garza has been linked to the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Rangers, and Indians.

Since returning from the disabled list in mid-May to make his delayed season debut Garza has started 11 games with a 3.17 ERA and 62/20 K/BB ratio in 71 innings, going at least six innings and allowing two or fewer runs in each of his last six starts.

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.