Did the Rangers push Cliff Lee to Philly?

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Chuck Greenberg would like to be credited with an assist on the Cliff Lee-to-Philly deal:

Even though Philadelphia was probably not in, they were always in the back of our mind,” Greenberg said. “I think if we wouldn’t have gone to Arkansas that last time, I think he was going to sign with the Yankees. We pried the door open a little bit to give ourselves another opportunity. And ultimately the Phillies were able to take advantage of that opportunity that we created.”

I thought we covered this already. Ruben Amaro is a ninja. He does not require an assist any more than the waves need an assist to crash into the shore.  Indeed, Amaro is probably standing right behind you right now and you don’t even realize it.

In any event, yesterday Hank Steinbrenner said that he thought that Lee was brushing Cashman and the Yankees off by not meeting with them. Today Greenberg implies that the Rangers never really had a shot and that his trip to Arkansas heroically kept Cliff Lee from joining a league rival.  Maybe there’s truth to both of those things, but the extent to which everyone is trying to spin their inability to land Cliff Lee is kind of comical.

Oh, and Greenberg used the phrase “Mystery Team,” so I suppose it’s officially part of the baseball lexicon now. Thanks Jon.

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.