Two top pitchers are gone from the upcoming Major League Baseball free agency market. Shohei Ohtani (28, Los Angeles Angels) is expected to undergo elbow surgery, and Julio Urias (27, Los Angeles Dodgers) has been embroiled in controversy over domestic violence allegations.카지노
The changes to two of the biggest names in baseball have shaken up the free agent pitching market this winter. Ryu Hyun-jin (36-Toronto Blue Jays) and other free-agent pitchers could be in for a bumpy ride.
Ohtani faces elbow surgery, Urias kicks his own butt
Two-hitter Ohtani, the biggest name in free agency, is headed for elbow surgery, even if it’s not Tommy John. Ohtani’s agent, Nez Valero of CAA Sports, told MLB.com and other local media outlets on May 5 (KST) that “it’s very likely that he will have elbow surgery, even if it’s not Tommy John.”
Ohtani was removed from the game against the Cincinnati Reds on March 24 with right elbow pain, and tests confirmed a medial collateral ligament (UCL) injury. The possibility of a second Tommy John surgery in five years was raised after his last one in October 2018, but Valero said, “The ligament was intact at the time of the surgery. It’s very positive that they didn’t find any problems,” he said, explaining that the injury was in a different area. Whereas the previous surgery was on the top of the elbow ligament, this time the injury was on the bottom.
“Ohtani loves to throw the ball, and there is no doubt that he will return to pitching. He will continue to pitch and hit.” He avoided Tommy John surgery, which would have required at least a year of rehabilitation, but did not give a timetable for his return to pitching. It’s a cautious move, as it could affect his free agent value in some way. As an elite pitcher, it’s inevitable that this sudden injury twist will hurt Ohtani’s free agent value.
Another top free agent pitcher left on his own accord. Urias, the biggest name in pure pitching, was arrested by police and charged with domestic violence. He was released on $50,000 bail, but is due in court on May 28.
Urias was also arrested in May 2019 for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and was released on $20,000 bail but placed on administrative leave. He was later suspended by Major League Baseball for 20 games. Now, four years later, he is facing another domestic violence charge. The Dodgers, who are conservative when it comes to their players’ personal lives, decided to keep Urias off the team until the facts are known and the investigation is complete. He will not accompany the team on its six-game road trip starting on June 6.
Major League Baseball and the players’ union signed a pact in August 2015 to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Players who violate it are subject to severe discipline, and Urias will be the first player to be suspended twice if the charges are confirmed. The severity of the suspension will have a significant impact on his free agent value. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’s already been struggling this year (11-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 games).
The pitcher who will benefit the most from the Ohtani and Urias changes is Blake Snell (31-San Diego Padres). Snell, who is 12-9 with a 2.50 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 28 games (155 innings) this season, is the National League (NL) Cy Young Award frontrunner. He leads the league in strikeouts (89) and leads the league in ERA with his strong stuff. If he wins the Cy Young at this pace, he’ll be the biggest free agent pitcher on the market.
After Snell, younger starters like Lucas Giolito (29, Cleveland Indians), Aaron Nola (30, Philadelphia Phillies), and Jordan Montgomery (31, Texas Rangers) are among the favorites to sign long-term deals. Eduardo Rodriguez (30-Detroit Tigers), who could become a free agent via opt-out, and Marcus Stroman (32-Chicago Cubs), who is likely to waive his player option, will also be in high demand when they hit the market.
Among the veteran pitchers, Sonny Gray (34, Minnesota Twins), Clayton Kershaw (35, Dodgers), and Hyun-jin Ryu stand out as the American League (AL) leaders in ERA (2.92). Heading into their mid-to-late 30s, Gray is unlikely to get a long-term deal, but he could get a big payday on a one- or two-year deal. Kershaw missed a month and a half this year with shoulder soreness, but he still pitched well, going 12-4 with a 2.48 ERA in 20 games (112⅓ innings).
Hyun-jin Ryu, who returned to the mound last month after a 14-month absence following Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation, is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six games (29 innings) since his return. He hasn’t thrown more than 90 pitches as part of his injury protocol, but he’s been steady in his last five starts, allowing two earned runs or less. Ryu will look for his fourth win of the season on July 7 against the last-place Oakland Athletics, who have the lowest winning percentage (.304) in the entire league.