Salvador Perez
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Royals won’t listen to offers for Salvador Perez

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Salvador Perez isn’t moving away from Kansas City anytime soon, according to Rustin Dodd of The Athletic (subscription required). Dodd explains that the Royals have a price set for the catcher that is “so exorbitant that no team would meet it,” though a specific number has yet to be divulged.

Perez wrapped his eighth season in the Royals’ organization this fall, during which he matched previous career-high totals of 27 home runs and 80 RBI while batting at a much lower clip than ever before (.235/.274/.439 across 544 PA). Despite seeing lackluster results over the first half of the season — which somehow didn’t prevent him from earning his sixth straight All-Star nod — and battling through a left knee sprain and ligament damage in his left thumb, there would appear to be no shortage of interested teams should the Royals ever reverse their decision and choose to cash in one of their hottest trade chips for a handful of prospects.

For the time being, however, the team won’t solicit trade offers on the 28-year-old slugger. Perez is slated to remain with Kansas City through the 2021 season and will collect another $36 million on his contract before entering free agency in 2022. While the door is temporarily closed on any potential deal for the World Series champ, Dodd adds that the Royals might still listen on second baseman Whit Merrifield, who raked in a league-leading 192 hits and 45 stolen bases during his third campaign with the team and will stay under club control through 2022.

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.