Bobby Abreu could be “odd man out” for Angels after Albert Pujols signing

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Albert Pujols’ arrival means the Angels have a logjam of first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters, and while trading Mark Trumbo would bring back the most in return Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times speculates that “the odd man out would probably be Bobby Abreu.”

Not only won’t the Angels be able to get much in exchange for Abreu, they’ll likely have to eat the majority of his $9 million salary just to move the 37-year-old for anything at all.

General manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia have talked about Trumbo possibly moving to third base, which would lessen the logjam considerably, but his odds of being even passable there defensively seem pretty slim. Kendrys Morales’ health is also a big factor, although the Angels may end up non-tendering him if he doesn’t show major progress soon.

Abreu has seen his OPS drop from .843 to .825 to .787 to .717 in the past four seasons, but he still has very good on-base skills and could help quite a few teams as a designated hitter or part-time outfielder if the price was low enough.

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.