Orioles “intensifying their interest” in Kendrys Morales

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Along with reports this morning that the Orioles are still interested in Ervin Santana even after signing Ubaldo Jimenez, now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re also “intensifying their interest” in free agent first baseman Kendrys Morales.

Now that the Orioles have already lost their first-round draft pick to sign Jimenez the prospect of losing later draft picks for other free agents isn’t as costly. Their next draft pick to lose is 54th overall.

According to Connolly the switch-hitter is now willing to take a two-year deal–perhaps with an opt-out clause after this season–after previously wanting four or five years.

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.