A Cubs/Theo Epstein deal could be done as soon as today

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Dave Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that “significant progress has been made” in negotiations between the Cubs and Red Sox over compensation to be paid in exchange for the Sox letting Theo Epstein out of his contract to join the Cubs.  Kaplan says that a deal could be done as soon as today and that, pending MLB approval, an announcement could come tomorrow.

There is a lot of good information there too about (a) the dynamic of the compensation talks, which focus mostly on a disagreement over the value in the Cubs’ minor league system; and (b) insight into what Tom Ricketts is looking to do with the organization overall.  Specifically, Kaplan spoke with a guy who was interviewed for the job prior to the club turning to Epstein, and that guy is convinced that Ricketts is going to fix and build the organization properly as opposed to looking for quick fixes.

Exciting times to be a Cubs fan.

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.