CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that at least seven teams have shown interest in free agent outfielder Torii Hunter. It’s a very typical report to see at this time of year, but Heyman identifies the Royals and Twins among those teams, which essentially confirms reports and speculation that we have heard in recent days.
Hunter has said that he would like to remain with the Tigers, but it’s unclear whether the interest is mutual. The possibility could be put on the back-burner as the Tigers attempt to re-sign designated hitter Victor Martinez.
Hunter, 39, batted .286/.319/.446 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI over 142 game this season while finishing with an OPS+ of 111. Jason Beck of MLB.com notes that Hunter has moved quickly before in free agency — most recently, he signed with the Tigers in mid-November two years ago — so it will be interesting to see if he does it again here. It sure seems like his agent could be trying to push for an early resolution.
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.