The Mariners are not ready to announce anything about the big deal they have in the works, but they have announced a little deal: they have acquired catcher Omar Narvaez from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for reliever Alex Colome.
Colome, who might’ve become the Mariners closer if he had stayed in light of the impending Edwin Diaz deal, pitched in 70 games between time with the Rays and Mariners last season, posting a 3.04 ERA and 72 strikeouts against 22 walks in 68 innings. He’s in line for a raise in arbitration this winter, however, and the tearing-down Mariners obviously want no part of that.
Narvaez hit well in 2018, with a line of .275/.366/.429 with nine home runs over 322 plate appearances. He’s a poor pitch-framer, but he’ll likely have the inside track to become the M’s starting catcher next season.
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.