Report: Astros have made one- and two-year contract offers to Dallas Keuchel

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros have made one- and two-year contract offers to free agent starter Dallas Keuchel. The offers, however, were not what the lefty is looking for. What Keuchel is looking for is not specifically known yet.

Keuchel, 31, finished with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings last season with the Astros. He’s been mostly terrific over the last five years, including winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2015. However, his age and a shaky 2016 effort in which he posted a 4.55 ERA may have teams balking at committing to him beyond one or two years.

The Phillies were also reportedly in touch with Keuchel recently, as Jon Heyman reported on Wednesday. However, the Phillies may be done spending after signing Bryce Harper to a record 13-year, $330 million contract.

Keuchel isn’t alone. Jake Arrieta waited until March 12 to sign last year, agreeing on a three-year, $75 million deal with the Phillies. It is certainly possible Keuchel can still find what he’s looking for — his agent, after all, is Scott Boras.

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.