Outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year contract worth approximately $1.06MM with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, according to the Japan Times. Robert Murray of The Athletic first reported Blash was headed to Japan.
The 29-year-old Blash came free when the Angels released him Nov. 29, ending his stint with the franchise after one season. An eighth-round pick of the Mariners in 2010, Blash joined the Padres in 2016 in a minor deal with the M’s. Then, after spending two years with the Padres, they sent him to the Yankees last December in a swap which also featured Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell. Blash wasn’t long for the Yankees, though, as they dealt him to the Halos in yet another minor trade last February.
The power-hitting Blash spent most of last season at Triple-A Salt Lake, where he slashed an excellent .317/.431/.700 (188 wRC+) with 29 home runs in 346 plate appearances. Running roughshod over the highest level of the minors wasn’t anything new for Blash, who has posted a 1.000 OPS and amassed 94 HRs across 1,283 Triple-A PAs. However, Blash hasn’t been nearly that effective in the majors, where he has hit .186/.306/.307 (71 wRC+) with eight long balls in 324 trips to the plate.