Brad Lidge to undergo hernia surgery Tuesday

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According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Brad Lidge’s agent Rex Gary said that his client will undergo hernia surgery tomorrow.

Lidge was placed on the 15-day disabled list last week with what was described as an abdominal wall strain. The 35-year-old right-hander isn’t expected to resume throwing for three weeks following surgery, so assuming he requires a minor league rehab assignment, it’s unlikely he’ll return to the Nationals until late May or early June.

Lidge has a 5.14 ERA and 7/7 K/BB ratio over seven innings this season. Henry Rodriguez, who blew his first save of the season Saturday night against the Dodgers, should serve as the Nationals’ primary closer for now.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.