Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is considering a bid on the Angels, according to Sportico’s Eric Jackson and Scott Soshnick. The billionaire isn’t giving official comment, but Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times heard that Soon-Shiong is indeed weighing the possibility of buying the franchise. The 70-year-old Soon-Shiong is a former transplant surgeon who built a fortune in the medical technology and pharmaceutical industries, and his business holdings also include both the L.A. Times and San Diego Union-Tribune newspapers.
This isn’t the first time Soon-Shiong has tried to get involved in baseball, as his ownership group was the runner-up bidder for the Dodgers in 2012 when Guggenheim Baseball Management bought the franchise. Now, Soon-Shiong will apparently see if he can purchase the other Los Angeles area team, as Angels owner Arte Moreno said last month that he is considering a sale. There is expected to be plenty of bidding on the Angels, and it seems quite possible that the price tag could end up approaching the $3 billion mark.
More from around the AL West…
- Justin Verlander threw a live bullpen session today, simulating one inning of work with some batters stepping in against the veteran righty. Verlander has been on the 15-day injured list since August 29 due to calf discomfort, and he told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggert and other reporters that he hoped the session would give him more of a natural pitching feel, and allow him to “stop kind of thinking about the calf and just let my mechanics work…during rehab your throwing is very stagnant and robotic.” Physically, Verlander said he is feeling “great,” and he is hopeful of a relatively quick return to the Astros rotation. Since Verlander saw today’s outing as a pseudo-start day from a preparation standpoint, Verlander could potentially be back in action as early as September 16, provided that he doesn’t have any recovery issues from the bullpen session.
- The Rangers will activate Jon Gray from the 15-day injured list on Monday, as interim manager Tony Beasley told reporters (including MLB.com’s Kennedi Landry) that Gray is slated to start the second game of Texas’ doubleheader against the Marlins. Gray hasn’t pitched since August 1 due to an oblique strain, and he’ll return within the initial 4-6 week recovery timeline. Between this oblique problem and previous IL stints due to a knee sprain and blisters, Gray has only pitched 103 1/3 innings in his first season with Texas, though he has a 3.83 ERA and solid peripherals.
- In other Rangers injury news, the team announced that Spencer Howard will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A today. Howard has pitched only 37 2/3 innings in the majors this season, as he has been both in the minors and battling fingernail and blister problems before his most recent injury, a shoulder impingement. This shoulder issue sidelined Howard about a month ago, and it remains to be seen if he can ramp up enough to make a return to the majors before the season is over. The former top prospect has yet to show much at the MLB level, posting a 7.09 ERA over 111 2/3 career innings with the Phillies and Rangers.