Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Twins and second baseman Jonathan Schoop are finalizing a one-year, $7.5 million contract. The deal also includes performance incentives.
Schoop, 27, opened the season with the Orioles, batting .244 with 17 home runs and 40 RBI in 367 plate appearances. The Brewers acquired him ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline but it didn’t work out for the Brewers. Schoop posted a paltry .577 OPS in 46 games and went hitless in eight postseason at-bats.
Schoop had a very productive year in 2017 but it looks like an outlier compared to what he’s done over the rest of his six-year career. Still, it’s a relatively cheap contract for the Twins.
MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger adds that the Twins have also inked infielder Ronald Torreyes to a one-year contract. Torreyes was designated for assignment by the Yankees on November 26, then traded to the Cubs two days later. The Cubs non-tendered Torreyes two days after that. So it’s been an interesting two weeks for him.
With Torreyes and Schoop, the Twins have added some capable infielders at little cost.
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.