White Sox may be serious bidders for Yoenis Cespedes

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Between this winter’s trades of closer Sergio Santos and outfielder Carlos Quentin, the White Sox have cut about $10 million in payroll. Could they be gearing up for something (or someone) special?

Perhaps. Maybe. Potentially.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago expects the White Sox to take part in the bidding for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who is scheduled to become a major league free agent sometime in early January.

White Sox GM Kenny Williams did not shoot down that idea when speaking with reporters Saturday:

“What I will say is there are some doors that are now open for us that were not open yesterday because of the savings of dollars,” Williams said. “But which direction we are heading with that, [talking about it] I think would be counterproductive with us getting something done should we decide to go down that road.”

The White Sox are likely to have competition from the Cubs, Marlins, Yankees and Red Sox, but they have a good history with recruiting Cuban talent and would seem to have some available spending cash.

Cespedes, 26, batted .333/.424/.667 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games this past year in Cuba.

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.