Adam LaRoche clears waivers, but trade may be difficult

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John Gambadoro of KTAR-620 in Arizona reports that Adam LaRoche has cleared waivers, meaning the Diamondbacks can make him available in trade talks with any team.
LaRoche has hit .272/.339/.489 with 20 homers and 26 doubles in 113 games, which is basically identical to his .273/.342/.492 career line. He’s far from an elite offensive first baseman, but would make for a nice stretch-run pickup for any contender in need of a solid bat from the left side.
However, his contract is why he cleared waivers unclaimed and could make him a tricky target. He’s owed about $1.5 million for the rest of this season and LaRoche’s deal also has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011 that increases to $9.5 million if he’s traded and includes a $1.5 million buyout.
In other words, unless a contender wants to keep him around for next season at $9.5 million the commitment for this year would be about $3 million for 40 or so games. Depending on how much salary the Diamondbacks are willing to eat, of course.

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.