Report: Alex Rodriguez plans to fight suspension through appeal process

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ESPN’s T.J. Quinn reported yesterday that Alex Rodriguez’s representatives were negotiating a possible settlement with MLB in regard to a suspension for his ties to Biogenesis. However, it appears that talks have broken down.

This seems to jibe with the latest update from Quinn, which says that Rodriguez’s representatives and MLB “aren’t anywhere close” to agreeing on the length of a suspension. Key for Rodriguez is that he wants to maximize the $100 million remaining on his contract with the Yankees.

As Craig Calcaterra reported yesterday, MLB is prepared to ban Rodriguez for life if a settlement isn’t reached. This would force him to fight the league through arbitration, where he could still be handed a lengthy suspension. Bud Selig has reportedly considered using the “best interests of baseball clause” to keep him off the field if he appeals.

There should be an announcement on a suspension any day now, but it sounds like the drama is just beginning.

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.