Jon Daniels is making no secret of his desire to make a big move

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I wanna play poker with Jon Daniels. MLB.com’s Richard Justice talking about Rangers GM Jon Daniels in the Dallas Morning News:

“I think Nolan Ryan leaving really put the pressure on Jon Daniels to make a dramatic move. He’s the only GM that I heard last week at the meeting saying, ‘Our needs can’t be filled internally. We have to go outside and make a move.'”

I guess it’s money-where-your-mouth-is time for Daniels.  The Rangers have been reported to be interested in Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury. They’re losing Nelson Cruz, most likely. There has been talk that Ian Kinsler could be on the block. They could use some pop in that lineup.

There was talk that they’d make big moves last winter too, and it didn’t pan out. It’ll be interesting to see if Daniels, now clearly and solely at the helm of the Rangers, is able to make something happen.

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.