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Brandon Morrow underwent elbow procedure last month

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow underwent a scope on his elbow in November, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Specifcally, the procedure was an arthroscopic debridement, which is a cleanup of cartilage. Morrow’s status for the start of the 2019 regular season is still up in the air.

Morrow, 34, had an injury-shortend 2018 season for the Cubs, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30 2/3 innings. He went on the disabled list around the All-Star break due to inflammation in his right biceps.

Health has always been an issue for Morrow, who spent his formative years in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation, but crossed the 25-start plateau only twice. Since moving to the bullpen, he has crossed 40 innings only once, in 2017 with the Dodgers (43 2/3 innings).

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.