A mere five days ago it was reported that the Mets were “motivated” to trade starter Noah Syndergaard. That was either wrong or the plans have changed, because today general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said that the team is unlikely to trade Syndergaard as the “chips are in” to win now.
That this was said at the press conference announcing the Robinson Cano trade makes a lot of sense because it was not clear how you could acquire Cano without it being aimed at contending in 2019 and it is unclear how the Mets could contend in 2019 without Syndergaard. Either way, this should make Mets fans feel better.
Syndergaard, under team control for three more years, went 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 155/39 in 154.1 innings in 2018.
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.