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Report: MLB to investigate leak of Shohei Ohtani’s medical information

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Earlier this week  Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that Shohei 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.

All of the teams who bid on Ohtani had access to this information beforehand. The Angels signed him despite this information, as they believe the issue to be a minor one which will not impact his ability to pitch.

End of story? Nope. Because the leak of that information has displeased the powers that be:

It’s hard to imagine that Ohtani’s people would’ve leaked that for any reason and the incentive for Japanese officials to do so seems nil. Heck, there isn’t much of an incentive for anyone to leak it, though one can envision a scenario in which someone with one of the teams who lost out on Ohtani offering it up as sour grapes. Or, perhaps, to calm a fan base upset that their team did not get the two-way star.

No matter who did it, it’s understandable for MLB to be angry about it. For one thing, it caused the Angels to have to play defense from a PR perspective and spend time beating back the reports and stories which, understandably, spun out of the leak. More significantly, player health information, while often made public by clubs, is not an open book for everyone to see. The have privacy rights with respect to their medical information just like you and I do. When we hear about an injury, it’s because the player and the club agree that it’s information that can be made public, either because they approved it on a case-by-case basis, or because it’s run-of-the-mill stuff released in the course of baseball operations and covered by a players’ contract and/or the CBA.

In any event, this should be very interesting to watch unfold. Assuming there is anything that ultimately unfolds.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.