After a season-and-a-half as a bench player in Colorado the assumption was that Jason Giambi would go elsewhere this offseason in search of more playing time, but today he re-signed with the Rockies on a minor-league contract.
Last winter Giambi got a guaranteed deal worth $1.75 million, but this time around he won’t have a 40-man roster spot heading into spring training. Between that and the lack of a role for him in Colorado playing behind another left-handed hitter in Todd Helton there was obviously very little interest in Giambi as a free agent.
Giambi still has excellent on-base skills, but most of his power has vanished at age 40 and he’s hit just .217 over the past two seasons. He received 222 plate appearances last year and unless Helton goes down with a significant injury similar playing time is likely for 2011. If he makes the team, of course.
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.