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Royals sign Chris Owings to one-year, $3 million deal

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The Royals have signed utilityman Chris Owings to a one-year contract, the club announced on Wednesday. Fancred’s Jon Heyman adds that the deal is for $3 million with additional performance incentives.

Owings, 27, has spent the last six seasons with the Diamondbacks. He didn’t hit much, accruing a .669 OPS in 580 games, but he’s versatile and generally plays solid defense. Owings has spent considerable time at shortstop and second base as well as right and center field. He has also spent a handful of innings at third base and left field.

The Royals will continue their rebuilding process. Owings isn’t exactly a cornerstone player, but he will provide some much needed versatility and he will eat up at-bats throughout what will likely be a lost season from the very beginning.

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.