Derrek Lee rejected a trade to the Angels

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Earlier this afternoon Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reported that Derrek Lee would block any potential move by exercising the no-trade clause in his contract and now MLB.com has further details that he actually did reject a trade to the Angels.
Asked to comment on the report, Lee said: “There may be a time when I’m ready to talk about it, but not now.”
Lee has posted an OPS above .800 in 10 straight seasons, but the impending free agent in the final season of a five-year, $65 million deal is currently hitting just .248/.333/.387 in 97 games for a .720 OPS. He’s hit much better recently, going 26-for-82 (.317) with nine extra-base hits in the past 19 games.
Lee will no doubt be criticized for not accepting a trade to a “contender” but it’s worth noting that the Angels are nearly as far out of a playoff spot (8.5 games) as the Cubs (9.5 games) right now.

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.