Report: Thome won't be returning to White Sox

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The Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reports that Jim Thome and the White Sox were unable to reach an agreement over the weekend and that Thome won’t be back in Chicago next year.
The White Sox clearly had mixed feelings on whether it was in their best interests to bring back Thome as their primary DH. Manager Ozzie Guillen is fine with mixing and matching at the spot, even though Thome would have a pretty good chance chance of being the team’s best or second-best hitter against right-handers.
Thome might now be on his way to Minnesota. The Twins, still not sold on Delmon Young as an everyday player in left field, have interest in the 39-year-old as a part-time DH.

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.