Lots of mild interest in Johnny Damon, nothin’ serious

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Two years ago, about 77% of our January-February posts were about Johnny Damon. This year? Not a ton, really. Aging is hard.

But after all of the ink we spilled back then — our first offseason on this blog — I still sort of feel like this is Johnny Damon season.  So I pass along the word from Jim Bowden:

Of course, no one seems all that serious.

Last we heard he wanted $5 million.  Seems pretty unlikely he’ll get that. He could still help someone though, so while some of the many DH-types may be without teams this year, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him sign a cheap deal before spring training begins.

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.