The Yankees are on Joakim Soria's no-trade list

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We’ve heard this and that about the Yankees wanting to trade for Royals’ closer Joakim Soria. That seemed like a tall order anyway given how much he’d cost the Yankees, but here’s an even better reason why it isn’t going to happen: the Yankees are one of the six teams on Soria’s no-trade list.

That report comes courtesy of Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. Marchand says that doesn’t mean a trade couldn’t happen — the Yankees would just have to find some way to persuade Soria to drop his objection to coming to New York.  This seems silly to me, however.

Why do you think Soria has a no-trade clause that includes the Yankees? My guess: because the Yankees have the best closer in baseball history playing for them and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.  A ticket to New York for Soria or any other closer means a ticket to middle relief — the term “setup man” is nice, but it’s still middle relief — and if you’re a reliever who isn’t getting saves, you’re a reliever who isn’t going to get the money and the glory and the chicks and all that stuff.

If I were a closer the last place I’d want to go is New York. It’s the one place where you got no chance whatsoever.

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.