Blake DeWitt and his $1.1 million contract cleared waivers, will stay with Cubs

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Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment last week and predictably no team was willing to claim his $1.1 million contract off waivers, so he’ll remain with the Cubs while being removed from the 40-man roster.

DeWitt technically had the right to reject his assignment to the minors, but doing so would have meant forfeiting his $1.1 million salary and … well, that was never going to happen.

No longer being on the 40-man roster will make it more difficult for DeWitt to be called back up to the majors, as the Cubs would have to first clear a roster spot for him by potentially losing someone else.

However, in January the team willingly signed him to that one-year, $1.1 million deal to avoid arbitration and the 26-year-old infielder is certainly an MLB-caliber player, hitting .260 with a decent .714 OPS in 404 games. Expect to see him back in the majors before long, although perhaps not with the Cubs.

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.