Orioles pick up options on Wei-Yin Chen, Darren O’Day; decline on Nick Markakis, Nick Hundley

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The Orioles announced their option decisions earlier this evening and there wasn’t a surprise in the bunch. Wei-Yin Chen and Darren O’Day got their options picked up by the club while Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Nick Markakis and Nick Hundley had their options declined and will become free agents.

Chen’s option was worth $4.75 million, so it was an easy call to bring him back at this bargain price. The 29-year-old left-hander owns a 3.86 ERA in 86 starts across three seasons with Baltimore. The decision on O’Day was also expected. He’ll make $4.25 million in 2015 after posting an excellent 1.70 ERA and 73/19 K/BB ratio over 68 2/3 innings this season.

Markakis’ mutual option was worth $17.5 million, so the Orioles understandably paid a $2 million buyout and declined their half. There’s still a chance he could remain in Baltimore with a lower salary. The 30-year-old outfielder has played his entire nine-year major league career with the Orioles and batted .276/.342/.386 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI over 155 games this past season. Hundley’s club option for 2015 was worth $5 million and did not require a buyout. Acquired from the Padres in May as insurance for Matt Wieters, the 31-year-old backstop hit .233 with five home runs and a .625 OPS in 50 games with Baltimore.

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.