A.J. Burnett: maybe I won’t retire after this season after all

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What a difference a start makes. Last week, after a not-so-good performance, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett said that he was “probably” going to walk away from the game after this season, leaving an eight-figure paycheck on the table in the form of an un-exercised player option.

Last night he struck out twelve dudes and now he’s feeling a bit more eager to pitch in 2015. From CSNPhilly.com:

“I guess you could say I’ve still got it when I do have it,” Burnett said. “My decision will come down to how I feel and what my family and I decide. It’s just one start, but to be able to go out and do that tonight makes you wonder.”

As CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports, Burnett said he made an adjustment before last night’s game which made things way easier. Whatever happened, he showed that, when he’s on, he’s still capable of beating one of baseball’s best teams. So if he wants to pitch next season, he’d certainly be welcomed by someone.

 

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.