News Flash: Carlos Zambrano is available

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You’re not gonna believe this one from Buster Olney’s column this morning:

Heard this: The Cubs have made it clear that Carlos Zambrano, who is owed about $42 million left on his contract, is very much available.

This is either a refreshing example of self-awareness and a flash of delicious irony on Buster Olney’s part — realizing the true, troublesome nature of the “heard this” piece — or else it’s evidence that you can safely hold off on that ESPN Insider subscription for another six months.

Either way, I’ll keep passing along gems like this so you won’t miss anything.

Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery once the season ends

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The Angels announced on Tuesday that P/DH Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery during the first week of the offseason (next week). The surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. The Angels don’t have a timetable for Ohtani’s recovery yet but will provide more information when it becomes available.

Ohtani, 24, underwent an MRI earlier this month which showed new damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He decided to play out most of the remainder of the season before making a decision. While Ohtani certainly wouldn’t be able to pitch next year, the Angels are confident that he will still be able to function as a full-time DH with no issues.

Ohtani had an outstanding first season in the majors. He hit .280/.361/.564 with 21 home runs, 56 RBI, 55 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 347 plate appearances. As a pitcher, he posted a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 22 walks in 51 2/3 innings across 10 starts.

The Angels have five games left this season, all at home. They have two more against the Rangers, are off Thursday, then wrap up the season with a three-game set with the Athletics.