Jarrod Saltalamacchia introduced as the Marlins new catcher

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia, his wife and his three daughters just came into the media room here at the Winter Meetings to be introduced as the Marlins’ new catcher. It was a touching ceremony:

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It put me in mind of the Winter Meetings two short years ago, when we last saw the Marlins introduce a big free agent signing:

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So I guess that puts the over/under on the Marlins trading Saltalamacchia at, what, seven or eight months?

Of note: Jeff Loria was front and center for that Heath Bell presser in 2011. He was here today too, but not on the dais with the Marlins brass. He was sitting in the media chairs off to the far left, trying his best to be inconspicuous. Indeed, when I aimed my camera at him he made a point to sit back and low, apparently not wanting to be seen.

Question: does this presage a bold new era in Marlins history in which their owner is rarely seen and even more rarely heard? Or is he just sorta ashamed to be seen publicly?

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.