Deep Thoughts: Prince Fielder free agency edition

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Over at ESPN Chicago there’s a big story up titled “Report: Prince Fielder Open to Cubs?”

Setting aside the notion that a question — “Prince Fielder Open to the Cubs?” — is not a “report,” is it not the case that Prince Fielder not ruling out a potential team in his upcoming free agency is not news?

News would be if a soon-to-be free agent said “Though I will be a free agent and thus truly free to join any team of my liking that is likewise interested in my services at a fair rate, I must announce now that I will not be considering the Chicago Cubs, for they offend my sensibilities.”

A guy, when asked, saying that he will not rule out a team is simply being sensible and/or polite to the reporter.

But hey: ESPN got a “report” out of it, and that’s worth some page views.

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.