The Yankees sign first round pick Cito Culver

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The Yankees agreed to terms with their first round pick and would-be-shortstop-of-the-future Cito Culver. He’ll receive a signing bonus of $940,000, which is reportedly the Bud Selig-recommended slot.

Why are the Yankees suddenly paying slot?  A couple of reasons. The main one is that the 17-year-old Culver wasn’t
projected as a first-round pick by many scouts and he’d probably accept whatever you threw at him.

If that doesn’t explain it all this might: right after the draft Culver went to his high school prom in a white tux with Yankees-blue pinstripes.  I’m guessing after that show of enthusiasm Brian Cashman knew that Culver had no intention of taking that scholarship
from the University of Maryland and thus not much in the way of negotiation leverage. Never let them know what you’re thinking, Cito.

In other news, the current Yankees shortstop is old enough to be Culver’s father.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.