Report: Blue Jays near agreement on contract extension with John Gibbons

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Update: The extension covers the 2018-19 seasons and includes an option for 2020, MLB Network Radio reports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Blue Jays are finalizing a contract extension with manager John Gibbons. The deal is expected to be completed by Opening Day. Gibbons is currently in the last year of a contract initially signed in November 2012 which included rollover options after each season starting with 2015. That language was removed and Gibbons was instead given a raise for the 2016-17 seasons.

Gibbons, 54, led the Blue Jays to the ALCS last season but they were stopped in five games by the Indians. The Jays also made it to the ALCS in 2015 and lost to the Royals in six games. As for the regular season, the Jays are 339-309 (.523) under Gibbons since the start of the 2013 season, the beginning of his second managerial stint with the club.

Heyman notes that the Jays’ front office values Gibbons’ in-game management as well as his ability to handle the clubhouse.

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.