Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Yankees have designated Vernon Wells for assignment, dropping the veteran outfielder from the 40-man roster and exposing him to the waiver wire.
Wells got off to a great start in New York, but ended up hitting just .233 with 11 homers and a .631 OPS in 130 games overall. He hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2010 and the Yankees had even less use for him than before after signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.
He’ll almost surely pass through waivers unclaimed because in addition to Wells being horrible for three years in a row no team will want anything to do with his remaining contract (although most of it is being paid by one of his now three former teams).
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.