Back in mid-July the Phillies and Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez reportedly agreed to a six-year, $48 million contract, but that deal fell apart over concerns about the health of his elbow.
Today the Phillies announced that they’ve officially signed Gonzalez, but the contract is for three years and $12 million, with a vesting option for 2017. That’s a helluva discount and, considering Gonzalez remained a free agent after the initial deal fell through, suggests the Phillies weren’t the only team worried about his health.
Before the injury issues popped up Gonzalez was generally viewed as a potential mid-rotation starter and someone capable of getting to the majors very quickly at age 26, so if he stays healthy the Phillies may have gotten themselves a bargain by not shying away from the risk.
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.