Red Sox have talked extension with Chris Sale

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Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said today that the club has had contract extension talks with ace Chris Sale. Sale said last week that he hasn’t heard anything about an extension, so either those talks are new, they’re so preliminary that they haven’t registered with Sale or else there is some sort of miscommunication. Either way, Werner saying this today suggests that, yeah, the Sox at least want to lock up Sale.

Th Sox exercised their 2019 option for Chris Sale right after the season ended. He’ll make $13.5 million in 2019 and will be eligible for free agency after this campaign. One used to say things like “and he’ll be highly sought-after on the market!” but that was before the last two years killed the top end of the free agent market, so I suppose we’ll see.

As it stands, Sale continues to be one of the best pitchers in the game. He posted a 2.11 ERA and 237/34 K/BB ratio over 158 innings in 2018. His health and stamina issues late in the year were notable, but he closed out the World Series-clinching victory last October and is reportedly in good health to start 2019.

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.