Nationals sign Gio Gonzalez to five-year contract extension

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According to the Nationals’ official Twitter feed, newly-acquired left-hander Gio Gonzalez has been signed to a five-year contract extension. The deal also carries options for 2017 and 2018.

Gonzalez was sent from Oakland to Washington three weeks ago for top prospects Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole.

The 26-year-old starter was eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this winter and stood to make a significant raise over the $420,000 league-minimum wage that he earned in 2011. This new contract with the Nats covers all of his years of arbitration eligibility and also buys out his first year of free agency.

Gonzalez posted a spectacular 3.12 ERA in 32 starts last season for the A’s, striking out 197 batters in 202 innings. He holds a 3.93 career ERA over parts of four seasons. No word yet on the financial terms.

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.