Spring Training 2017: Orioles halted Angel Pagan deal due to familiar issue

Welcome to The Stew’s Spring Headlines, our daily look at the biggest MLB stories and news items from around spring training. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

NO DEAL: Free agent outfielder Angel Pagan is still waiting for a major-league contract before signing. He reportedly had one with the Baltimore Orioles, but you’ll never guess what kept it from becoming official.

Actually, you probably got it right on the first guess.

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According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, an issue with Pagan’s physical caused the Orioles to back off. Now he remains in limbo as he begins play with Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

Angel Pagan nearly had a deal with the Baltimore Orioles, according to reports. (Getty Images)
Angel Pagan nearly had a deal with the Baltimore Orioles, according to reports. (Getty Images)

Here’s more from Heyman’s report:

Asked about the physical that ended that opportunity, Pagan’s agent Greg Genske ‎didn’t say what happened with Baltimore beyond the fact that there had been a physical.

“Angel is an amazing athlete who is in top physical condition. He had a full and very productive season last year for the Giants and is ready to make an impact this season for a new club,” Genske said.

The Orioles have a history of being quite particular with physicals. Most famously, an agreement with Grant Balfour in December of 2013 completely fell through after results of his physical were “concerning” to the team. Another deal with Yovani Gallardo’s was renegotiated from three years to twos years after the physical.

Worth adding here, Pagan hasn’t been a picture of health the last two seasons. He had a knee issue in 2015 and a hamstring injury that caused him to miss time last season. It’s unclear if either or both injuries caused the red flag, or if Baltimore found something else of concern. Whatever the case, Pagan isn’t likely to find a home until after the WBC. [@JonHeyman]

ALTERNATIVE PLANS: Nationals manager Dusty Baker is prepared for the possibility that ace Max Scherzer won’t be ready for opening day. Scherzer has been dealing with a stress fracture on the knuckle of his right ring finger, which forced him to withdraw from pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Scherzer will throw a live batting practice session on Sunday, but isn’t yet ready for game action.

“Well, we’ve been thinking that all along, sort of,” Baker said. “But we’re preparing for that. I mean, it’s hard to count Max out. It just depends on how he progresses the next few weeks. But if not, then we got a couple other candidates that are pretty good, too. So we’re glad that he’s made the progress that he’s made.”

Baker would likely turn to Stephen Strasburg as his opening day starter, though Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez are also possibilities. [MASN]

David Price isn't ready to throw yet, but he's making encouraging process from a forearm issue. (AP)
David Price isn’t ready to throw yet, but he’s making encouraging process from a forearm issue. (AP)

NOT YET: Red Sox left-hander David Price will not resume throwing this weekend as hoped. Manager John Farrell says Price was examined Friday and was determined to have full range of motion in his elbow. However, he’ll continue going through plyometric exercises on Saturday before hopefully throwing lightly at some point next week. It’s a step forward for Price, though perhaps not as significant as he’d hoped. [@brianmacp]

KEEP FIGHTING: Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis announced Friday that he’ll begin chemotherapy treatments after learning that his testicular cancer had spread. [The Stew]

BIG RETURN: After missing the last two seasons with recurring arm issues, Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler returned with an encouraging outing Friday. Wheeler retired five of the first six batters he faced before allowing a solo home run to Atlanta’s red hot hitter Matt Tuiasosopo, who had homered in his previous two at-bats on Thursday. That would be the only blemish over Wheeler’s two innings. More importantly though, he felt great, which is huge step forward physically and mentally. [MLB.com]

MARLINS PREVIEW: What lies ahead for the Miami Marlins? A lot of questions, and not enough answers. [The Stew]

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!