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Report: J.P. Ricciardi joining Giants in senior advisor role

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Former GM J.P. Ricciardi will join the Giants in a senior advisor role, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. He’ll work under new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, whom the Giants hired from the Dodgers earlier this offseason.

Ricciardi, 59, was the GM of the Blue Jays from November 2001 through October 2009. Ricciardi was also in the Athletics’ front office during the Moneyball days. He briefly worked on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” before joining the Mets’ front office as a special assistant in November 2010.

The Giants will likely have more front office hirings to come before spring training begins in February. Given his experience, Ricciardi should be useful to Zaidi.

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.