Jorge Cantu “seriously being considered by Diamondbacks”

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Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Jorge Cantu is “seriously being considered by the Diamondbacks” as an option at first base.

Cantu was horrendous for the Rangers after they acquired him a midseason deal with the Marlins and barely played in the postseason as rookie Mitch Moreland emerged as the primary first baseman.

He’s always had 25-homer power, but poor plate discipline kept Cantu from emerging as more than a decent regular and now even that may be a stretch. He hit just .256 with a .304 on-base percentage and .392 slugging percentage in 127 games this year and would likely be best in a platoon role facing mostly left-handers even if he bounces back in 2011.

That could make him a fit in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks acquired minor-league veteran and left-handed hitter Juan Miranda from the Yankees last month. It won’t excite fans, but a Miranda-Cantu platoon could produce something resembling league-average production very cheaply.

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.