Don’t expect Red Sox to trade Daniel Nava despite playoff benchings

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Daniel Nava spent most of the playoffs on the bench as the Red Sox chose to play Jonny Gomes over him against righties and lefties, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Boston will be “stiff-arming any sort of trade proposal” for Nava this offseason.

General manager Ben Cherington told Bradford that Nava “is a popular guy in baseball” after hitting .303 with an .831 OPS in his first full season at age 30. He’s set to make the minimum salary in 2014 and is under team control through 2017.

Bradford wrote a lengthy piece about why Nava is so important to the Red Sox and how his presence allows them to have flexibility with their potential moves this offseason, although the whole thing is slightly confusing within the context of his playoff benchings. Either way though, don’t expect the Red Sox to shop him around.

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.