Shocker: Gary Sheffield is still a free agent

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Gary Sheffield.jpgAccording to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, nobody’s biting on 41-year-old Gary Sheffield.
The veteran slugger, who is representing himself this winter, still
feels he can be an everyday player and provide some right-handed thump,
but so far no major league team has agreed with him.

After being released by the Tigers during Spring Training last season,
Sheffield batted .276/.372/.451 with 10 home runs, 43 RBI and an 823
OPS in 268 at-bats with the Mets. He joined the 500-HR club with his first hit as a member of the Mets in April.
That said, he did very little after the month of June, batting
.254/.329/.365 with zero homers in 65 at-bats after the All-Star break,
barely seeing the field due to various injuries.

It’s possible that some team could surprise and invite him to Spring
Training, but Sheffield’s pride will always make him think he is more
important than his now complimentary skills suggest, leaving a
potential bench role as a useless distraction. This is destined to be one of those long, drawn-out “unofficially retired”
situations.

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.