Report: Mariners, Phillies discussing trade for Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce
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Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the Mariners and Phillies are discussing a potential deal involving Seattle outfielder Jay Bruce. At this stage, a deal doesn’t appear to be imminent, nor has the return for Bruce been revealed.

Still, it would be an interesting get for the Phillies, who could use the bench depth and, according to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, have “had interest in Bruce for years dating back to Mets days.” Gelb adds that Bruce would also give the club another option in left field, which is currently staffed by a combination of Nick Williams and backup outfielders Scott Kingery and Sean Rodríguez.

It’s been several years since Bruce’s “Mets days,” and he doesn’t look exactly like the .250-average, 2.0-fWAR player of seasons past. That’s not to say he’s dealing with career-low numbers, however. Despite a deceptively-low .212/.283/.533 batting line, he’s put up 14 home runs (including no. 300) and a heartening 116 OPS+ across his first 148 plate appearances in 2019.

Should the deal go through, the Phillies are expected to shoulder the bulk of Bruce’s remaining $14 million salary in 2020.

Update, Sunday 10:19 AM EDT: Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia hears that the trade for Jay Bruce is ‘complete.’ Neither team has officially confirmed the deal, nor has the return for Bruce been publicized.

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.