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Report: Padres sign Garrett Richards to two-year deal

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Padres have signed pitcher Garrett Richards. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is for two years and around $15 million in total.

Richards, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery in July and will miss at least a large chunk of the 2019 season. Over the course of his eight-year career spent entirely with the Angels, Richards owns a 3.54 ERA with 645 strikeouts and 268 walks in 744 2/3 innings.

This is obviously a speculative deal on the Padres’ part, hoping he can be a big contributor in the 2020 season when he will be 32 years old.

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.