Reds avoid arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo

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Shin-Soo Choo and the Reds have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

This is Choo’s third and final season of arbitration eligibility and he requested $8 million while the Reds countered at $6.75 million. He made $4.9 million in Cleveland last season.

And as I wrote about earlier today Choo is expected to be Cincinnati’s primary center fielder this season at age 30 despite starting just four games there since 2007, which is an interesting aspect of his impending free agency.

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.