The Mets probably aren't getting Ted Lilly

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Joel Sherman reports that while the Mets have engaged in conversations with the Cubs about Ted Lilly, it’s now “very doubtful” that they’ll be able to do a deal for him. The sticking point: the Mets don’t want to pay the $4 million or so he’s owed for the rest of the year plus give up prospects for him.

Moreover, Sherman reports, there is no chance they can get the other pitcher about whom they’ve been inquiring — Brett Myers — because the Astros are showing no sign of wanting to move him.  In this the Astros are apparently continuing to hold the rather confusing belief that they’ll have Brett Myers next season.  There’s a mutual option for $8 million bucks, but with the kind of season Myers is having it certainly seems like he could land a multi-year deal someplace, so why would he stay in Houston?

In any event, time is not on the Mets’ side.  After last night’s demoralizing loss, they stand 7.5 back in the East and 6.5 back in the Wild Card with five teams ahead of them.  With Philly improving and Atlanta continuing to play good baseball, it’s hard to see how New York can make any headway absent landing a big fish.

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.