Blake Parker
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Angels non-tender Blake Parker

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Right-handed reliever Blake Parker has been non-tendered by the Angels, per an official report on Friday. The team also cut ties with oft-injured veteran starter Matt Shoemaker, who made just seven appearances in the majors during the 2018 season.

It’s an unexpected move coming from the Angels, who enjoyed a solid performance from the 33-year-old closer this past year. Coming off of a career-best run in 2017, Parker delivered 14 saves in 41 save opportunities with a 3.26 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, and 9.5 SO/9 through 66 1/3 innings.

This offseason, he was projected to earn something in the ballpark of $3 million through arbitration, a modest bump from the $1.8 million he took home in 2018. Although he shaved a couple miles off of his fastball and failed to reach the 80-strikeout threshold of years past, the righty has been consistent and dominant enough that he should have no issue latching onto another major-league deal in the months to come.

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.