Already this offseason reports have linked David Freese to the Yankees and the Marlins, and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Angels have “discussed a trade” for the Cardinals third baseman.
St. Louis shopping Freese makes sense, because he’s coming off a down year and about to get expensive via arbitration. Plus, the Cardinals have top prospect Kolten Wong just about ready to step in at second base, which would allow them to replace Freese by shifting Matt Carpenter to third base.
Freese hit .262 with nine homers and a .721 OPS in 138 games this year, but made the All-Star team in 2012 while hitting .293 with 20 homers and an .839 OPS before going nuts in the playoffs.
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.