Russell Martin’s deal with Yanks includes $1.4M in incentives

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From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times comes word that the Yankees have included $1.4 million in performance-based incentives in their new one-year, $4 million contract with catcher Russell Martin.

Martin has already passed his physical with the Yanks and the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this week.

The 27-year-old will start behind the plate on Opening Day in New York and will look to turn his career around in the hitter-friendly ballparks of the American League East.  The Yankees will probably send catching prospect Jesus Montero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at the start of the year.  Jorge Posada will act as the club’s primary DH and backup catcher.

The Dodgers offered Martin a one-year contract with a base salary of $4.2 million before non-tendering him earlier this month.  That deal contained up to $1.5 million worth of incentives, but he would’ve had to start 140 games to maximize all of it.  He only has to start 120 games in pinstripes to maximize his potential $5.4 million salary.

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.