Report: Washington Nationals sign Kurt Suzuki

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Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal with catcher Kurt Suzuki. Financial terms are not yet known. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is reportedly for $10 million over the two years in total.

Suzuki hit .271/.332/.444 with 12 homers in 388 plate appearances in 2018 and has an .825 OPS over the past two seasons. Those two years are substantially better offensively than anything he did over the previous ten years of his career. He turned 35 in early October.

Given his age and how much of an outlier those two seasons were offensively, it’s hard to guess what he’ll do going forward, but even some regression from these recent highs will serve the Nats well if they use Suzuki wisely. He’s not a full-time catcher, really, having worked in a co-starting situation in Atlanta for the past two years. Assuming Washington pairs him up with someone who can play at least 60 or 70 games himself, they’ll have a pretty decent catching duo.

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.