As expected the Rays have pulled back Yunel Escobar off revocable waivers after the shortstop was claimed by the A’s.
Tampa Bay was only able to negotiate a deal with Oakland and ultimately decided Escobar was worth hanging onto with two seasons and $13 million remaining on his contract.
Escobar has hit just .253 with four homers and a .635 OPS in 113 games this season and wasn’t much better last year, but the bar for shortstops is always very low offensively and the Rays like his defense (and presumably don’t believe Nick Franklin is a legitimate shortstop).
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.