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Angels acquire Tommy La Stella from Cubs

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The Cubs announced on Thursday that infielder Tommy La Stella has been traded to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

La Stella, 29, hit .266/.340/.331 in 192 plate appearances across 123 games for the Cubs this past season, spending most of his time at third and second base.

The Cubs recently picked up Ronald Torreyes from the Yankees, so La Stella became redundant. The Angels, meanwhile, pick up some infield depth. La Stella is entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility and is due a slight raise on his $950,000 salary from the 2018 season.

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.