CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman provides the scoop:
The Yankees have faith they can make deals with pitchers Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte — surely more faith than they can do a deal with Rafael Soriano at the moment.
The Yankees expect to try to work something out with Rivera in the coming week, especially now that Soriano has rejected the $13.3-million qualifying offer. The club’s hope is to get Rivera done at a bit of a pay cut from his $15-million 2012 salary, as he is 43 and coming back from a knee injury.
Pettitte hasn’t completely committed to returning for the 2013 season, but the expectation is that the veteran left-hander eventually will.
And it’s highly doubtful that he would agree to pitch for any team other than the Yankees at this point.
Kuroda may be a little trickier because of the amount of interest he has already attracted from teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers. But Heyman says the Yankees are viewing Japan as their primary competition.
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.