Reds sign José Iglesias to minor league deal

Jose Iglesias
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The Reds picked up free agent infielder José Iglesias on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, per an official announcement. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com adds that Iglesias can earn up to $2.5 million in the majors, with another $1 million in bonuses if he reaches a certain threshold of games played in 2019.

The 29-year-old shortstop/third baseman is coming off of a six-year track in the Tigers’ system. He was laid up with repeated fractures in his shins and right middle finger during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, but made a full recovery and remained mostly healthy and productive in the years that followed. In 2018, he batted .269/.310/.389 with five home runs, 15 stolen bases (in 21 chances), and a career-best 2.5 fWAR across 464 PA, then saw his campaign cut short after sustaining an abdominal strain in late August.

Healthy or not, however, Iglesias isn’t guaranteed any kind of starting position with the club this spring. José Peraza is already penciled in as the Reds’ go-to shortstop in 2019, while Eugenio Suárez is currently poised to man the hot corner. According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, manager David Bell stressed that no significant changes will be made to the starting lineup in light of Saturday’s signing; instead, Iglesias will be relegated to a bench role, provided he cracks the major league roster at all.

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.