Brad Boxberger
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Diamondbacks non-tender Brad Boxberger

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The Diamondbacks have non-tendered right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger, according to a team announcement on Friday. Boxberger will enter the free agent pool as one of just a handful of closers available this winter.

The 30-year-old righty was initially picked up by the D-backs during a trade for right-handed pitching prospect Curtis Taylor last November and was elected the team closer at the start of the 2018 season. He finished his run in Arizona with a 4.39 ERA and 32 saves across 60 appearances, complemented by a 5.4 BB/9 ad 12.0 SO/9 through 53 1/3 innings. He saw his stock plummet toward the end of the season, however, and was temporarily booted from the closer role after a handful of shaky relief appearances in September, during which he scattered six runs, three walks, and a single strikeout over two innings.

The Diamondbacks also declined to tender a contract to right-hander Shelby Miller, who was sidelined for the majority of the season while battling from lingering elbow issues, as well as infielder/outfielder Chris Owings, who batted just above the Mendoza Line with a .206/.272/.302 batting line, four homers, and a near career-worst -0.8 fWAR in 2018.

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.