Diamondbacks do two-year, $5M deal with Cliff Pennington

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From ESPN’s Buster Olney comes word that the Diamondbacks have inked Cliff Pennington to a two-year, $5 million contract. The agreement covers the shortstop’s first two years of arbitration eligibility.

Pennington batted .215/.278/.311 with six homers, 18 doubles and 28 RBI in 462 plate appearances last season for the Athletics. He was traded to Arizona in late October — along with infield prospect Yordy Cabrera — in exchange for outfielder Chris Young.

Pennington will serve as a buffer at shortstop for the Snakes until Didi Gregorius is ready for the major leagues.

The 28-year-old former first-round pick is a .249/.313/.356 career hitter in the bigs.

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.