Mat Gamel is still alive. The Yankees just signed him.

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Mat Gamel was a top Brewers prospect for years, hitting .301 with 53 homers and an .886 OPS in 290 games at Triple-A over the course of his career. But he took a long time to get it together at the major league level. When he was finally given the Brewers starting first base job, bam, he tore ACL. That got fixed and, bam, another torn ACL. He hasn’t played in the bigs since 2012. Just horrendous luck for the guy.

Today he gets another chance, as the Yankees signed him. Obviously he’ll be in the minors, assuming he can show he’s healthy. But being organizational depth at this point is something to shoot for if you’re Gamel.

Good luck, kid.

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.