Bobby Abreu could be “odd man out” for Angels after Albert Pujols signing

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Albert Pujols’ arrival means the Angels have a logjam of first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters, and while trading Mark Trumbo would bring back the most in return Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times speculates that “the odd man out would probably be Bobby Abreu.”

Not only won’t the Angels be able to get much in exchange for Abreu, they’ll likely have to eat the majority of his $9 million salary just to move the 37-year-old for anything at all.

General manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia have talked about Trumbo possibly moving to third base, which would lessen the logjam considerably, but his odds of being even passable there defensively seem pretty slim. Kendrys Morales’ health is also a big factor, although the Angels may end up non-tendering him if he doesn’t show major progress soon.

Abreu has seen his OPS drop from .843 to .825 to .787 to .717 in the past four seasons, but he still has very good on-base skills and could help quite a few teams as a designated hitter or part-time outfielder if the price was low enough.

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.