Rockies sign Seth Smith for $2.4 million to avoid arbitration

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Seth Smith is the latest arbitration eligible player to avoid tomorrow’s deadline, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Rockies that Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports is worth $2.4 million.

Trade rumors have swirled around Smith all offseason, particularly once the Rockies bumped him from the starting lineup by signing Michael Cuddyer as their new right fielder.

For a fourth outfielder $2.4 million would be expensive, so the Rockies may continue to shop Smith after getting him under contract for 2012.

His raw numbers are inflated by Coors Field and Smith has never really hit left-handed pitching, but he’s a career .292 hitter with an .881 OPS versus right-handers and would make for a nice (and fairly cheap) platoon starter on a lot of teams.

UPDATE: That was fast. Smith has been traded to the A’s for a pair of pitchers.

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.