Rangers sign Brad Hawpe to minor-league contract

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Brad Hawpe was a bust for the Padres last season, earning $3 million while hitting just .231 with a .645 OPS in his first full season away from Coors Field, and Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that he’s agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rangers.

Hawpe’s numbers were always inflated by playing half his games in Colorado, but he hit .288 with a .518 slugging percentage in 585 total games from 2006-2009 and typically posted solid road numbers as well.

Then he declined significantly in 2010 and totally fell apart last season before undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in August. At age 32 he might simply be finished as a valuable player, particularly given the health question mark, but Hawpe is a worthwhile flier to take on a no-risk deal and could give the Rangers a cheap bench bat or first base alternative to Mitch Moreland.

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.