Braves acquire Freddy Garcia from Orioles

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In need some of some rotation depth with Tim Hudson out for the season and Brandon Beachy possibly joining him on the disabled list, the Braves have acquired veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia from the Orioles for cash considerations.

Garcia got knocked around for a 5.77 ERA in 53 innings for the Orioles before accepting a demotion to Triple-A in June. He’s pitched well for Norfolk with a 2.84 ERA and 61/15 K/BB ratio in 13 starts, but at this point Garcia is purely a fallback plan. He throws in the mid-80s and serves up way too many homers, but he’s 36 years old with 15 seasons of experience and a fallback plan is what the Braves needed.

For now he’ll stay at Triple-A, moving from Norfolk to Gwinnett.

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.