In a quartet of expected moves, the White Sox have offered arbitration to free agents Paul Konerko and J.J. Putz while declining to offer arbitration to Manny Ramirez and A.J. Pierzynski.
Ramirez made $20 million this season and Pierzynski earned $6.25 million, so while they’re both Type A free agents the White Sox couldn’t risk either player accepting an arbitration offer that basically guarantees a one-year deal at the same salary or higher.
Chicago would gladly bring back Konerko or Putz on one-year deals at their 2010 salaries, so there’s no risk to offering them arbitration.
Konerko has reportedly told the White Sox that they’ll get the opportunity to match any offer he receives as a free agent. Putz returning to Chicago seems much less likely, as he should have no trouble securing multi-year offers after posting a 2.83 ERA and 65/15 K/BB ratio in 54 innings.
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.