(The Sports Xchange) - Major League Baseball is conducting an investigation into whether a team official leaked medical information pertaining to Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, ESPN reported on Thursday.
Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday that Ohtani received a platelet-rich plasma injection for his right (pitching) elbow. Yahoo Sports published details from Ohtani’s medical records later in the day, noting that he has a Grade 1 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm.
Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler told reporters that Ohtani had a PRP injection in his pitching elbow and said that the team was pleased with the results of his physical. Eppler also said that documentation of Ohtani’s medical history was circulated among teams interested in him.
Ohtani agreed to sign with the Angels, who won the 23-year-old’s services over competition from the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners. Ohtani was put up for bid by the Pacific League’s Hippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. He had until Dec. 22 to agree to a major league deal.
- - -
All-Star right-hander Brandon Kintzler agreed to a two-year contract with the Washington Nationals, multiple outlets reported.
USA Today Sports reported that the deal is worth $10 million and includes a third-year option worth $6 million. The Nationals acquired Kintzler from the Minnesota Twins at the trade deadline in July for left-handed pitching prospect Tyler Watson and $500,000 in international bonus pool allocation.
Kintzler, who converted 28 of 32 save opportunities with the Twins, posted a 2-1 mark with one save and a 3.46 ERA in 27 appearances with the Nationals. The 33-year-old owns a 14-14 mark with 46 saves and a 3.26 ERA in 298 career appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers, Twins and Nationals.
- - -
The Chicago Cubs and right-handed sinkerballer Steve Cishek have agreed to a two-year deal, multiple outlets reported.
Cishek recorded a 3-2 mark with a 2.01 ERA in 49 appearances last season with the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays acquired Cishek and cash considerations from the Mariners in July for left-hander Erasmo Ramirez.
The 31-year-old Cishek owns a 24-28 record with 121 saves and a 2.73 ERA in eight seasons with the Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Mariners and Rays.
- - -
The New York Mets agreed to a two-year, $14 million contract with reliever Anthony Swarzak, multiple outlets reported.
Swarzak bolstered Milwaukee’s bullpen down the stretch last season and finished with a 6-4 mark with two saves, a 2.33 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 70 relief appearances with the Chicago White Sox and Brewers.
Swarzak spent the first five seasons of his major league career with the Minnesota Twins before pitching with the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. He owns a 23-30 career mark with a 4.22 ERA in 287 appearances.
- - -
The Minnesota Twins and closer Fernando Rodney agreed to a one-year contract, multiple outlets reported.
SiriuxXM reported that the deal is worth $4.5 million, with incentives that could raise its value to $6 million.
Rodney, 40, who recorded a 5-4 mark with a 4.23 ERA, converted 39 of 45 save opportunities last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The three-time All-Star has 300 career saves and a 44-63 mark with 3.73 ERA in 14 major league seasons with eight teams. He led the American League in saves in 2014 when he had 48 for the Seattle Mariners.
- - -
The Oakland Athletics acquired outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league infielders Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.
Piscotty batted .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season with the Cardinals. He is signed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract through the 2022 season.
The trade also brings the 26-year-old Bay Area native and Stanford star closer to home. Piscotty missed time last season to spend with his family after his mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with ALS.
- - -
The St. Louis Cardinals officially acquired All-Star Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins in exchange for fellow outfielder Magneuris Sierra, right-handers Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen, and left-hander Daniel Castano.
The trade comes on the heels of two other big-name departures by the new Marlins regime, led by co-owner and CEO Derek Jeter. Miami traded reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees on Monday in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro, minor league right-hander Jorge Guzman and minor league infielder Jose Devers.
Two-time All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon was sent to the Seattle Mariners last week for right-hander Nick Neidert, infielder Chris Torres and right-hander Robert Dugger.
- - -
The Detroit Tigers selected Arizona Diamondbacks minor league outfielder Victor Reyes with the No. 1 overall pick of Major League Baseball’s Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings.
The San Francisco Giants selected right-hander Julian Fernandez from the Colorado Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies chose Nick Burdi from the Minnesota Twins, but he was shuffled to the Pittsburgh Pirates for $500,000 in international bonus pool money.
The World Series champion Houston Astros selected left-hander/outfielder Anthony Gose, who was the lone player selected with extensive major league experience.