Angels strike one-year, $2 million contract with Jerome Williams, avoiding arbitration

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From MLB.com beat reporter Alden Gonzalez comes word that the Angels have avoided salary arbitration with right-hander Jerome Williams by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Williams earned an $820,000 salary in 2012 as a first-year arbitration-eligible player while posting a 4.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 98/35 K/BB ratio across 137 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old right-hander owns a 4.29 career ERA, a 1.34 career WHIP and a 5.7 career K/9 through his first seven MLB seasons.

Williams will be eligible for arbitration for the final time in 2014 before hitting the free agent market heading into the 2015 campaign.

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.