Justin Masterson has one season remaining before free agency, with a big payday coming via arbitration, but the Indians right-hander is hoping to sign a long-term contract extension before hitting the open market.
Masterson’s agent, Randy Rowley (agent’s have great names, huh?), told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he’d like to talk to the Indians about a deal but isn’t in a hurry. As for the Indians, general manager Chris Antonetti said it’s “potentially” something to broach between now and spring training.
Usually when a good player is just a year away from free agency the motivation to sign an extension is minimal and Masterson is 29 years old coming off his first All-Star season, but if the Indians are willing to hand out a big five- or six-year offer? Sounds like he’d be interested.
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.