Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers have inked veteran pitcher Edinson Volquez to a one-year, $2 million contract that includes $5 million in performance bonuses.
Volquez, 35, signed a two-year minor league contract with the Rangers in February as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery. He last pitched in the majors in 2017 with the Marlins, posting a 4.19 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 53 walks over 92 1/3 innings. His season ended on July 5 that year.
The last-place Rangers finished 67-95 this past season and their prospects aren’t expected to get much better in 2019. If he’s able to, Volquez will simply eat up innings for the Rangers throughout the year. MLB.com currently lists the Rangers’ starting rotation as Mike Minor, Ariel Jurado, Yohander Méndez, Adrian Sampson, and Drew Smyly. Yikes.
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.