Shohei Ohtani has a sprain in his UCL
According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, Japanese superstar and newest member of the Angels Shohei Ohtani has a sprain in his UCL. This was revealed in a physical the pitcher/outfielder/DH underwent prior to the posting process that brought him Stateside. Many who root for teams other than the Angels are taking this as dodging a bullet, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case to me. Obviously, the Angels knew about this before they signed the deal and they don’t really seem overly worried about the injury. Every pitcher in the world has some risk of undergoing Tommy John surgery at some point, and while Ohtani might have slightly more risk he is still a massive bargain with enormous talent. His sprain is the lowest grade possible and most every team in the league was interested in his services even having the results of this physical. Ohtani going down shortly into his MLB career would be a massive bummer, but this in no way is serious enough for anyone to be happy about their team not getting him.
The Manny Machado rumors are picking up
Every year there is a legitimate superstar who is put on the trade block at the Winter Meetings, and this year it seems as if that is Manny Machado. One of the best young players in all of baseball, Machado is drawing interest from teams all around the league and a deal is looking like more and more of a possibility as time goes on. The most terrifying possibility is that Baltimore trades him to New York and he immediately agrees to extension to keep him for years to come. Not only would the Yankees get another superstar in their prime, but they’d also be helping the Orioles in their rebuild with a presumably large package of prospects. Fortunately, the early indications are that Baltimore will not trade him to New York. Hopefully, he is sent out of the American League East and agrees to an extension where ever he ends up. It is also worth mentioning that Machado is hoping to return to shortstop on any new team.
- The Rangers are discussing a possible deal to acquire Zack Greinke. Texas was one of the final contenders for Shohei Ohtani and are all over the starting pitching market. This is a big potential deal for the Red Sox to watch, as it happening would open up payroll space for the Diamondbacks and give them a more realistic chance of re-signing J.D. Martinez.
- The Cubs signed Drew Smyly to a two-year deal. While the Red Sox weren’t in on the starting pitching market this year, Smyly has always been an interesting pitcher to me and is a 2019 acquisition. He’s set to miss most of this season with injury, and this gives the Cubs a chance to get a healthy year from the pitcher for cheap.
- The reliever market is starting to pick up. After the Phillies signed Pat Neshek on Monday, they continued to work on Tuesday by adding former Ray and Oriole Tommy Hunter on a two-year deal. Meanwhile, Colorado jumped on another right-handed reliever by signing Bryan Shaw to a three-year deal. (Sidenote: It’s hilarious that Jon Heyman accidentally reported this via twitter reply to the Diamondbacks.) Both of these contracts are a year longer than I expected them to get, and it seems as if the reliever market is slightly more expensive than I was personally expecting. The Red Sox are looking at left-handed relievers, so we’ll see if that market acts similarly.
- The Giants are involved in talks for Billy Hamilton. The Red Sox obviously wouldn’t be in on Hamilton, but this still has an effect on Boston’s plans. For one thing, this could possibly take San Francisco out of the J.D. Martinez sweepstakes. Furthermore, if the Red Sox do actually end up trading Jackie Bradley Jr. (I still don’t believe they will), this would definitely take the Giants out of that market.