Must-Click Link: the 25 worst contracts in baseball

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It’s hard to disagree with Michael Baumann’s rundown of the 25 worst contracts in baseball over at The Ringer. All of the stinkers are on it: Jose Altuve‘s terrible deal. Mike Trout‘s albatross of a contract. Sal Perez’s highway robbery of a pact. Adam Eaton‘s deal which, frankly, is hamstringing.

Wait, you say those are good deals? Well, silly, that’s because you’re seeing them from the team’s perspective, and not the players’:

In the grand scheme of injustices, athletes making less than they’re worth is a small one, but the rhetoric surrounding labor couldn’t be more important, because it shows up in our everyday lives. It’s not “bad” that a worker, particularly one who’s put in his time, negotiates a favorable contract with his employer. It’s not “good” that young workers sell off their future earnings cheaply in order to ensure some measure of long-term security, all so that billionaires can keep labor costs down.

A deal has two parties and a deal can be good or bad from either party’s perspective. Yet, as Baumann points out, fans almost uniformly talk about contracts that benefit the team more than the player as “good” and contracts which benefit the player more than the team as “bad.”

The billionaires who own baseball teams are quite happy that you do that, by the way. It’s in their best interests for you to think of them as benevolent protectors of some public trust rather than businessmen. It makes it easier for them to get you to pay for their new stadiums and stuff. It’s also in their best interests for you to think of their workers as greedy and overpaid because, well, business owners have always liked that in literally every industry ever.

You don’t have to think that way, though. You can, and maybe should, examine why, exactly, you do.

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.