Two-way player Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has finished his throwing program, the final hurdle as he attempts to return to the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow, ESPN reported Friday.
The Angels have given Ohtani the OK to return to Japan to continue his recovery and prepare for the 2020 season, according to the report.
Ohtani, 25, has not pitched in the big leagues since suffering an elbow injury during the 2018 season. The former Japanese star made 10 starts on the mound in 2018 but was reduced to a designated hitter role last season while his elbow was on the mend.
He did throw bullpen sessions, mostly in the season's second half, in anticipation of returning to the mound in 2020.
--The Chicago White Sox made a rotation addition when they agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal to reunite with left-hander Gio Gonzalez, The Athletic reported.
The deal reportedly includes a $7 million option for 2021, a $4.5 million base salary for 2020 and a $500,000 buyout. There are also $250,000 incentives for number of starts, up to $1 million.
Gonzalez, 34, was originally a first-round draft pick (38th overall) by the White Sox in 2004. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005 in a deal that included first baseman Jim Thome, and then traded back to the White Sox in 2006 for a deal that included right-hander Freddy Garcia. In 2008, the White Sox moved Gonzalez again, this time in a package deal to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Nick Swisher.
--The Minnesota Twins locked up veteran arms for their bullpen, announcing the signings of right-handers Sergio Romo and Tyler Clippard.
Romo's one-year deal is worth $5 million guaranteed with opportunities for it to reach $10 million, according to MLB Network. Clippard's one-year deal is worth $2.75 million, according to ESPN.
--Veteran infielder Ian Kinsler will retire after 14 major league seasons, with one year remaining on his contract, and make a move into the San Diego Padres front office, The Athletic reported.
Kinsler, 37, was still owed $4.25 million for 2020 and is expected to work out a settlement with the Padres before moving into an unspecified management role.
In stints with the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and Padres, Kinsler batted .269 with 257 home runs and 909 RBIs. He was a four-time All-Star and won two Gold Glove Awards.
--Field Level Media