Report: Cubs to sign Kendall Graveman

Kendall Graveman
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The Cubs are closing in on a deal with free agent right-hander Kendall Graveman, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The deal is still pending official confirmation, and exact terms of the contract have yet to be publicly disclosed.

Things weren’t looking good for the 28-year-old righty when he was non-tendered by the Athletics in November. Graveman pitched to his worst career numbers during the first half of the season, turning in a 1-5 record in seven starts with a 7.60 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9 and -0.4 fWAR through 34 1/3 innings. In July, a lingering forearm strain led to Tommy John surgery, which effectively decommissioned the starter until the start of the 2020 season.

The hope, of course, is that Graveman will return to the 4.00-ERA, 1.0+ fWAR levels of seasons past, though it doesn’t look like the Cubs are holding their breath on that front. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times points out that the righty isn’t expected to see much, if any playing time during the club’s 2019 campaign and will likely stand in as pitching depth once he makes his eventual return to the mound.

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.