SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports that the Angels have signed pitcher Doug Fister to a major league contract, pending a physical.
Fister, 33, remained unsigned through the offseason and the first one and a half months of the regular season. He spent last year with the Astros, finishing with a rough 4.64 ERA and a 115/62 K/BB ratio over 180 1/3 innings. Given his age, teams felt you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but the Angels finally put their collar around his neck. The club likely felt that there’s some bite behind Fister’s bark, so they threw him a bone.
The Angels are in need of starting pitching depth, so Fister certainly fits the bill.
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.