Thanks the tips and consolation guys.
He's in Detroit. Sounds like he found a 98,000 replacement and they're going to swap it in and do the timing belt, waterpump, some gaskets, etc. I told him to get under that thing and get a good look at the rod. I want to know where and how it broke. There was no indication on the top side looking into the cylinder with a camera that there was damage, so that's why they pulled the pan, apparently.
The shop is recommending the replacement engine rather than just a new rod because they think there might be fragments throughout. Sounds plausible?