Francisco Rodriguez open to returning to Mets next season

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Francisco Rodriguez was back in New York last night for the first time since being traded to the Brewers last month. Among other things, he told Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com that he would be open to returning to the Mets as a free agent.

“Definitely. I understand this is a business, they did what they needed to do and feel what they need to early in the year to trade me, (but) the door is still open,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not the type of person that is going to burn bridges and say, no, I’m not coming this place because they trade me or whatever. I’m open-minded and open to come here to New York once again in the future.”

Rodriguez is in the final guaranteed year of a three-year, $37 million contract. Upon his trade to Milwaukee, his $17.5 million option for 2012 was converted to a mutual option with a $4 million buyout.

K-Rod is just saying what an impending free agent is supposed to say, but this is a highly doubtful scenario. The Mets seem committed to giving the younger, cheaper Bobby Parnell an honest audition as closer and while Sandy Alderson plans to upgrade the bullpen this winter, I see them looking toward low-cost, risk/reward types like Jonathan Broxton. Assuming his right arm is still attached to his body, that is. Haven’t heard from that guy in a while.

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.