Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the scoop …
The Yankees, perhaps as concerned about their offensive issues as their rotation, are looking at outfielder Josh Willingham and some other bats.
The Yankees may actually prefer Willingham to Marlon Byrd or Alex Rios, perhaps partly because of Willingham’s reasonable $7 million salary and status as a free agent after the season.
Rios is getting a $12 million salary this year from the Rangers and carries a $14 million club option (or a $2 million buyout) for 2015.
Byrd is making an $8 million salary this season from the Phillies and is owed another $8 million salary in 2015. The 36-year-old corner outfielder also has an $8 million vesting option for the 2016 campaign.
Willingham, 35, is batting .215/.357/.420 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI through 56 games this season.
The Yankees want to upgrade over right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who has been forced into the lineup.
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.