The news broke Friday that Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani is broken.
He has a Grade 2 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and Tommy John surgery is in is future.
Nothing has been scheduled by the Los Angeles Angels, who successfully wooed Ohtani in December to knock off six other suitors.
The Angels will first see if the elbow responds to a platelet-rich plasma injection and stem-cell treatment. They will give that three weeks, and probably at least another three weeks if there are signs of healing.
If not, he'll go under the knife. Even if the ligament appears to be healing, there are no guarantees he'll avoid surgery.
(Isn't that right, Yu Darvish, Neftail Feliz and Chi Chi Gonzalez?)
It’s possible that Ohtani doesn’t throw another pitch until 2020, but don't think that the six runners-up to the Angels in the Ohtani Sweepstakes, including the Texas Rangers, are breathing a sigh of relief.
Each team received the Ohtani medicals and still pursued him. The Rangers had no concerns after seeing the medicals.
He's a one-of-a-kind talent, a flame-throwing right-hander and a left-handed power hitter, and he's only 23. He's making the MLB minimum this season and doesn't have to be paid above that for two more seasons.
Signing Ohtani was well worth the risk.
There's risk with any signing, especially with a hard-throwing pitchers. The Angels were using a six-man rotation to keep Ohtani's workload down as he adjusted to the differences between Nippon Professional Baseball and MLB.
The Rangers would have done the same.
But if there's one thing orthopedists know about Tommy John surgery, it's that the harder a pitcher throws, the higher the likelihood that the elbow goes.
As Rangers' team physician Dr. Keith Meister told the Star-Telegram a few years ago, "You can't put a V8 in a Volkswagon."
Ohtani is no Passat, but his engine appears to have been too big for whatever luxury brand he is.
But don't think the Rangers feel fortunate to have missed out on him. They knew the risks, and they were still very willing to sign him.