Mets trade Jeff Francoeur to Rangers

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Most of us, including Craig, had a hard time believing that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels actually wanted Jeff Francoeur when reports first surfaced earlier today. Well, the deal just went down.

The Mets traded Francoeur to the Rangers in exchange for infielder Joaquin Arias, according to a team press release. The Rangers are also reportedly receiving some cash as part of the deal. 

Jon Heyman of SI.com was first with the proposed swap earlier tonight, while Francoeur confirmed the trade to reporters after Tuesday’s loss to the Braves.

Arias isn’t really a player of any significance, however he was designated for assignment in order to make room for Alex Cora on the Rangers’ roster last week. That’s right, both Cora and Francoeur are now members of the Texas Rangers.

As a Mets fan, it’s hard to see any redeeming qualities in Francoeur, but he’ll likely be used as part of a tandem with the left-handed hitting David Murphy. His role could be elevated depending upon the condition of Josh Hamilton’s knee, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. I’m guessing he’ll be non-tendered in December either way. 

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.