Cubs sign veteran starter Doug Davis to minor league deal

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Injuries struck the Cubs’ rotation as soon as they decided to cut bait on Carlos Silva, but today they added a little pitching depth by signing veteran left-hander Doug Davis to a minor-league contract.

Davis worked out for a bunch of teams a few weeks ago after being limited to just eight starts last season because of a heart problem and an elbow injury. Prior to that, however, the 35-year-old had a 4.12 ERA in 203 innings for the Diamondbacks in 2009 and he was a pretty consistent mid-rotation starter for most of the decade.

His control has always been shaky and Davis is no sure thing to still be effective at age 35, but as far as low-risk rotation depth goes he’s a nice flier to take. For now he’ll head to extended spring training and then likely report to Triple-A at some point.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Davis can earn up to $2 million in salary and incentives if/when the Cubs call him up.

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.