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.