Dodgers sign Danny Espinosa to minor-league deal

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The Dodgers signed infielder Danny Espinosa to a minors deal on Sunday, Triple-A Oklahoma City communications director Alex Freedman reports. The team has yet to officially announce the deal, but the signing is expected to give them some depth in the minors after losing Corey Seager to an UCL sprain and Tommy John surgery last week.

Espinosa, 31, has bounced around six major-league organizations over the last two years, including short-lived stints with the Nationals, Angels, Mariners, Rays and Blue Jays. He was most recently seen with Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate this April, where he slashed .232/.271/.286 with three doubles and two RBI before opting out of his contract. The veteran middle infielder hasn’t seen consistent playing time with any one team since 2016, during which he put up a career-high 24 home runs while batting just .209/.306/.378 in 601 plate appearances for the Nationals.

Despite his lack of power at the plate, Espinosa will give the Dodgers an experienced shortstop who looks more capable of covering for Seager than their current emergency option, center fielder Chris Taylor. It’s possible that he could get some reps at second base as well, given that starting second baseman Logan Forsythe is still working his way back from a shoulder issue.

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.