Red Sox sign right-hander John Ely to minor league contract

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According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, the Red Sox announced yesterday that they have signed right-hander John Ely to a minor league contract. The deal also includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Ely missed the entire 2013 season while rehabbing from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and was given his release by the Astros in November. The 27-year-old posted a 5.70 ERA and 92/51 K/BB ratio over 115 1/3 innings with the Dodgers from 2010-2012 and will likely serve as starting pitcher depth in Triple-A if healthy.

The Red Sox also announced that they have re-signed right-hander Miguel Celestino and infielder Brandon Snyder to minor league deals.

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.