St. Louis signing Jhonny Peralta to a four-year, $53 million contract with the intention of playing him at shortstop seemed to shock an awful lot of people, so I thought general manager John Mozeliak’s pre-signing comments about acquiring a shortstop were worth noting (via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch):
One of the things we looked at when acquiring a shortstop was the amount of acquisition cost. For us, the asking price in the trade market seemed very prohibitive. There are two top shortstop candidates in the market, and one of the differences between them is there’s a righthanded hitter and a lefthanded hitter. We’re looking for a fit.
In other words the Cardinals tried to trade for a shortstop, but found the various asking prices (Shelby Miller? Matt Adams?) way too high. They also didn’t really feel like giving up a draft pick to sign Stephen Drew. And then finally they preferred the right-handed hitting Peralta over the left-handed hitting Drew, just in terms of how he fit into the existing lineup.
So they decided to simply throw money at the problem (and trust Peralta’s defensive numbers).
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.