The Orioles made a “significant offer” to Paul Konerko

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Heavy caveats here.  For one thing, the report comes from Jim Bowden. A man who, in my year or so of following him on Twitter, has one of the lowest batting averages among guys who purport to break stories.

For another thing, the Orioles have been rumored to be in on a lot of top-flight free agents in recent years, but no one ever seems to bite.  Whether that’s because the offers aren’t really as serious as they sound or if it’s because top free agents see nothing at all enticing about signing with the O’s is an open question. I suspect a little bit of both us happening.

I think the Orioles will sign a first baseman, but I think it’s way more likely to be of the Derrick Lee or Adam LaRoche variety as opposed to someone like Konerko.  Which is fine, because after what they had last year, either of those two would represent a significant improvement.

Particularly Lee who is thought of as a great guy and a total pro. Yes, I realize that I often discount such things, but for a team like the Orioles that’s important. It’s a critical time for the franchise.  Showalter showed a lot last season, but their emerging players need some role models too. Lee wouldn’t be a bad one to have around.

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.