Red Sox designate Grady Sizemore for assignment, call up prospect Garin Cecchini

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Grady Sizemore’s feel good story of a comeback in Boston is over, as the Red Sox have designated the outfielder for assignment to make room on the roster for third base prospect Garin Cecchini’s call-up.

Sizemore got off to an impressive start after missing all of 2012 and 2013 with injuries, but then hit just .187 with zero homers and a .530 OPS over a 43-game stretch from April 15 to June 15. Overall he hit .216 with two homers and a 41/19 K/BB ratio in 52 games, producing a measly .612 OPS that ranks 83rd out of 93 outfielders with at least 150 plate appearances.

Sizemore can surely find another team willing to take a flier on him via a minor-league deal, but sadly it’s looking likely that all the injuries and missed time have the three-time All-Star seeming washed up at age 31.

Cecchini briefly made his MLB debut for the Red Sox on June 1 before heading back to Triple-A, where he’s hit .263 with two homers and a .673 OPS in 62 games as a 23-year-old. That’s unimpressive production, but Cecchini was 74th on Baseball America’s list of prospects heading into the season. He’s played exclusively third base in the minors and the Red Sox have Xander Bogaerts there after re-signing Stephen Drew to play shortstop, so it’s unclear whether Cecchini is in their plans for more than another brief stint.

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.