The Royals sign Aaron Crow

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After taking a year to play independent league ball and avoid becoming a Washington National, Aaron Crow has signed with the Royals.  The deal: a three-year Major League contract that guarantees $3 million and could be worth $4.5 million if he reaches the big leagues.

Last year he was picked ninth.  Without a slot to dictate these sorts of things it’s hard to tell what he would have gotten, but it’s worth noting that, generally speaking the guys picked in his neighborhood in 2008 received bonuses in the $2-2.6 million range.  The Nationals reportedly offered him $3.5 million.

Upshot: he moved from a bad organization to a worse one, and cost himself half a million bucks and a year’s development time.  You’re never sad when someone makes you a millionaire, but I have to think that the holdout wasn’t worth it.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.