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Dodgers, Dave Roberts agree to contract extension

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It took about a month longer than expected, but the Dodgers and Dave Roberts accomplished the inevitable and have agreed to a contract extension.

It was announced by the Dodgers as a four-year deal that runs through 2022. Given that the club had already exercised Roberts’ 2019 option, it would seem that the team tore that bit up and incorporated this upcoming season into the new pact. Either way: he’s the Dodgers’ skipper for the next four seasons at least.

While Roberts took some criticism for the handling of his pitching staff in the World Series, it goes without saying that his hiring three years ago was an excellent move for the franchise. Indeed, the Dodgers have thrived under Roberts, going a combined 287-200 (.589) and reaching the World Series in each of the last two seasons.

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.