The Mets signed veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league contract today, but they aren’t done attempting to improve their bullpen.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York was told by a source unaffiliated with the team that the Mets “have allotted dollars” to add a closer-type. Bobby Parnell is the incumbent at closer, but he’s coming off neck surgery, so the club would like to add some late-inning insurance for a bullpen that is short on experience. As of now, Vic Black would be the likely alternative for the ninth inning if Parnell suffers a setback this spring.
We heard two weeks ago that the Mets were interested in Fernando Rodney and Rubin’s source believes that he may be at the top of the club’s list. Kevin Gregg, Ryan Madson, or Joel Hanrahan are among the other possibilities. The Mets showed interest in Grant Balfour before he signed with the Rays last month.
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.