>>Cubs Announce Signing of RP Brandon Morrow
Brandon Morrow has agreed to a two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, taking one of the top free-agent relievers off the market.
The 33-year-old Morrow went 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA and two saves in 45 appearances for the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He also pitched in 14 playoff games, helping the Dodgers eliminate the Cubs in the NLCS.
Morrow could step into the closer role for Chicago. Wade Davis had a career-high 32 saves for the Cubs and made the NL All-Star team this year, but he is a free agent.
Morrow's contract includes a 2020 club option that could become guaranteed depending on his performance.
The Cubs also announced Tuesday night they had agreed to a two-year deal with left-hander Drew Smyly. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery in June and might not be able to return next season.
>>Cubs Extend Radio Announcer Ron Coomer
Chicago Cubs radio analyst Ron Coomer has agreed to a multiyear contract extension.
The team and Entercom, the company that owns its flagship radio station, announced the agreement on Tuesday.
The 51-year-old Coomer has been working alongside play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes since 2013. Primarily a corner infielder during his nine major league seasons, he made the All-Star team with the Minnesota Twins in 1999 and played for the Cubs in 2001.
Coomer is from the Chicago area.
>>Hyped Prospect Ohtani Could Have Damage in Pitching Elbow
Last Friday, new broke that the Angels were the team that landed Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani. The two-way star wants to keep hitting, but most teams were after him for his pitching, which includes a 102-mph fastball in his arsenal. Interestingly, Ohtani's medicals included news that he had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right (pitching) elbow back in October.
From Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated:
Quote - "MLB circulated Ohtani's medical history. Sources from two of the teams say the report included a notation that Ohtani underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection on his right elbow in October".
Having PRP injection sometimes helps pitchers avoid Tommy John surgery (Masahiro Tanaka comes to mind), but could also be used just to deal with inflammation. In Ohtani's case, he had a first-degree sprain in his ulnar collateral ligament, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
The Angels released a statement late Tuesday night about their newest acquisition. Per USA Today's Bob Nightengale via Twitter:
Quote - "Angels statement on Ohtani/ Based on the readings of the MRI’s there are no signs of acute or new trauma in the elbow. His elbow looked consistent with pitchers at his age and usage level. We were pleased with the results of the physical and we are happy to have the player."
Ohtani only made five starts last season due to thigh and ankle injuries. He was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. In 2016, he was 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 140 innings.