Mets put former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers

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In need of 40-man roster spots after signing Ronny Cedeno and Scott Hairston the Mets have placed former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

In his early days as a prospect Martinez was rumored to be the centerpiece of nearly every potential Mets trade and Baseball America ranked him as a top-30 prospect in 2007, 2008, and 2009, but leg injuries and mediocre hitting in the upper minors have derailed his career.

Martinez is still only 23 years old, but he hit just .260 with eight homers and a .746 OPS in 63 games at Triple-A last season and has an ugly 158/46 K/BB ratio in 179 career games at the level.

He’s no longer capable of playing center field and hasn’t hit nearly enough to project as a corner outfield asset, but there’s a decent chance some team will take a flier on Martinez now that there’s no real cost or risk to acquiring him.

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.