Joba Chamberlain now has “almost a hipster kind of look”

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Baseball-wise Joba Chamberlain is looking for a fresh start after leaving the Yankees for the Tigers as a free agent, but more importantly Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that the 28-year-old right-hander is now free to fully express himself with facial hair:

Gone is the mustache he donned during the end of his tenure in the Yankees bullpen. Now, he has a beard, as so many former Yankees have done. Add a pair of glasses, and Chamberlain took to Michigan for the Tigers’ Winter Caravan with almost a hipster kind of look.

“You know, it’s the first year of my life [that I can],” he said with a smile at TigerFest. “College, couldn’t have any facial hair, and obviously in New York you can’t. I could have a mustache, but mustaches aren’t that cool. I’m not Tom Selleck. I tried the best I could, but it just didn’t work for me.

Chamberlain also explained: “I wear the glasses because I feel like I look smarter and I’m too lazy to put my contacts in.”

Beck reports that Chamberlain has dropped 15-20 pounds, too, but let’s focus on the important stuff for now.

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.