Angels release Mark Mulder

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Mark Mulder, whose comeback attempt ended before it even really began thanks to a torn Achilles’ tendon, has been released by the Angels.

Mulder has said that he’s not ruling out attempting another comeback next year, but he’ll miss the entire season recovering from the injury and at age 37 the odds of him succeeding in 2015 would be extremely long.

Shoulder problems derailed Mulder the first time around, so this is a particularly sad addition to an injury wrecked career that saw him win 97 games through age 27.

Prior to signing a minor-league deal to compete for a spot on the Angels this spring Mulder hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2008 and hadn’t been healthy and effective since 2005.

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.