The Padres exercise their option on Adrian Gonzalez

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First the news: The Padres exercised 1B Adrian Gonzalez’s $5.5 million option for 2011. The only time Jed Hoyer had a decision easier than this was the time that guy asked him if he’d rather have delicious chocolate cake or a knee to the groin.  He probably decided on the Gonzalez option even quicker, actually. There will always be more cake, after all. A stud first baseman for that price doesn’t come around very often.

But that’s not really why I’m posting this. I’m posting it because Adrian Gonzalez represents everything that went wrong last offseason.

Beloved players with bargain contracts are supposed to be traded away before they get expensive. Or at least they’re supposed to be given the cold shoulder by their current club so as to ensure that the Yankees and Red Sox of the world signed them.  By keeping Gonzalez last year and teasing their fans with a season of high quality baseball and hope — hope! — until the very last day, the Padres disturbed the natural order of things.

Look San Diego: the other baseball writers and I have a lot of content in the can for these situations. We’re supposed to be writing the trade rumor stories now. By January we’re supposed to be writing the “well, the [Yankees/Red Sox] bought another title” column.  In March we’re supposed to bury you for your cheapness and complete lack of playoff chances.  On Opening Day we write about how to fix baseball so there’s actual parity in it instead of the usual hope and despair for all but the richest of the rich.  By holding on to Gonzalez last year and having the gall to contend, you screwed all of that up.

So, if you could, get back to the program, will ya?

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.