The Grapefruit League is sort of at a crossroads. Defections to Arizona have left the teams in Florida more geographically remote from one another, and it’s especially pronounced for the teams on the Atlantic coast. The dual-team complexes in Arizona have proved to be efficient moneymakers for teams that have them too.
Against that backdrop comes word that, in addition to a new complex for the Marlins and Cardinals, there is the possibility of a $100 million dual complex in Palm Beach Gardens for the Blue Jays and Astros.
In the article the general manager of Roger Dean Stadium — where the Cardinals and Marlins are currently — talks about how another nearby complex would benefit everyone in terms of travel savings, sharing of resources and use of a modern complex by local youth and amateur teams.
And it does all make sense, as anyone who has traveled around the Cactus League can attest. It’s all just a matter of who pays for it and how.
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.