Shohei Otani
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Shohei Otani to miss six weeks with a thigh injury

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Japanese pitcher/hitter Shohei Otani is expected to miss up to six weeks with a thigh muscle strain, the Associated Press reported on Sunday. Otani injured his left thigh during the Nippon Ham Fighters’ game on Saturday when he tried to leg out a single.

This is the second significant injury Otani has sustained this year after rehabbing an injured ankle in February. He has yet to pitch for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2017, and, according to the report, is expected to increase his focus on batting this season.

Otani’s prowess as the best pitcher and one of the best hitters in NPB is well-documented, and he told 60 Minutes that he intends to sign with an MLB club after the 2017 season. Due to international spending caps that kicked in with the latest collective bargaining agreement, Otani’s signing bonus would likely fall between $4.75 and 10 million, a bargain for any major league suitor given the 22-year-old’s versatility and breathtaking success in Japan.

Rays sign Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal worth $4 million.

Gomez hit .255/.340/.462 with 17 homers in 105 games for the Rangers last year. He missed time due to various ailments, as he has frequently over the past several years, playing 118 games in 2016 and 115 games in 2015. He’s useful when healthy. He just has to find a way to stay healthy.

The Rays just traded away Steven Souza and designated Corey Dickerson for assignment, making room for Gomez. Dickerson was slated to make $5.95 million and, if he is not traded, the Rays will be on the hook for $1 million of that. Souza was making $3.55 million. Gomez will work in the outfield corner rotation with Denard Span and Mallex Smith, while Kevin Kiermaier will cover center.