Apparently not having an actual general manager following the firing of Josh Byrnes isn’t stopping the Padres from making significant moves, as the team announced that they’ve agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract extension with outfielder Seth Smith.
Smith is in the middle of a career-year, hitting .281 with nine homers and an .890 OPS in 72 games, but he’s also 31 years old, batted just .246 with a .738 OPS in 242 games for the A’s over the previous two seasons despite often being held out of the lineup versus left-handed pitchers as part of a platoon, and has hit below .200 versus lefties this season.
It’s not exactly franchise-altering money or anything, but Smith seemed to be a prime trade candidate considering his age, higher than expected production, and the Padres’ struggles. Instead they just signed a good but not great platoon corner outfielder through his age-33 season with a team option for 2017.
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.