Jason Giambi a possibility to return to American League

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With the Rockies falling out of contention, Jason Giambi could be on the move.  The 40-year-old slugger told the Denver Post on Friday that he has talked with Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd about a trade back to the American League.

Giambi has been outstanding in limited action this season, hitting .266/.364/.638 with 10 homers and 23 RBI in 94 at-bats.  With Todd Helton also having a bounce-back season, Giambi hasn’t seen much action at first base.  He did get to DH against AL teams last month, though, and he went 7-for-23 with two homers and two doubles in six games.

The Rangers and Angels seem like the best fits for Giambi among AL contenders.  The Rangers would prefer an outfield bat, but they do have Mitch Moreland capable of playing the outfield when needed.  And Giambi would be an obvious upgrade over Russell Branyan in Anaheim.

Giambi would also be an upgrade over Jorge Posada as a DH against right-handers for the Yankees, but that’s a less likely match.

If the Rangers are willing to offer Chris Davis for Giambi, the Rockies should jump.  Davis has been a failure in Texas to date, but he’d be a legitimate alternative to Ian Stewart and a suitable backup for Helton in Colorado.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.