According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Phillies are preparing a “substantial” offer for impending free agent Cole Hamels.
Exact details of the offer aren’t yet known, but Stark hears that the Phillies have had multiple internal discussions about whether to offer more than five guaranteed years. Previous reports have indicated that the club doesn’t have an issue with giving Hamels the yearly salary he covets, likely close to Cliff Lee’s $24 million AAV (average annual value), but they have been hesitant to go beyond five years.
The Phillies will almost certainly have to make a concession in years to have any chance to keep Hamels from testing the open market. He doesn’t turn 29 until December and is poised to land one of the richest contracts ever for a pitcher.
With Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back and Roy Halladay expected to return soon, Stark hears the Phillies will wait up to two weeks before determining whether it’s time to sell off parts leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. By then, they should have a pretty good indication of whether Hamels is receptive to their offer.
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.