Mauro Gomez is headed to Japan

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Mauro Gomez, who was claimed off waivers by the Nationals from the Blue Jays in September, has been released so that he can sign with a Japanese team.

Gomez played 37 games for the Red Sox in 2012, hitting .275 with a .746 OPS as a first baseman/third baseman, and at age 29 has logged nearly 1,500 plate appearances at Triple-A.

His power numbers in the minors have always been impressive and it’s possible he could have worked his way into a bench gig for 2014, but Japan no doubt offers a lot more job security and a bigger pay check after a decade in the minors.

Todd Helton cited for DUI following a crash

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Former All-Star first baseman Todd Helton has been charged with driving under the influence after a single-car accident in Knoxville, Tennessee.

According to the sheriff’s report, Helton’s car struck a telephone pole just before 6PM on March 18. He was not seriously injured, but was taken to the hospital for observation. Helton told deputies that he had taken an Ambien a few hours earlier. There was a cup in Helton’s car that “had the odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

Helton’s lawyer says that Helton has entered a treatment program. This was his second DUI arrest in the past six years. He was arrested in Colorado in 2013 while on the disabled list during his final season playing for the Colorado Rockies. He retired that year.

Helton, a five-time All-Star, played for the Rockies from 1997 through 2013, winning three Gold Gloves and collecting 2,519 hits and 369 homers. In 2000 he led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, RBI, doubles, total bases and hits.