Gerardo Parra signs with Japan’s Yomiuri Giants

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Free agent outfielder Gerardo Parra has signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced this morning. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker was the first to pick up the announcement.

Parra just won a World Series ring with the Nationals and launched the “Baby Shark” craze at Nats Park, but that fame and accomplishment in 2019 was somewhat unexpected. Last offseason he was forced to sign a minor league contract with San Francisco and only joined the Nats after the Giants cut him midseason. Before the cut he hit just .198/.278/.267 in 97 plate appearances, but rebounded to .250/.300/.447 batting line in 204 plate appearances with the Nats. Which is to say that it was a wonderful season for him in the end, but it was not one that was likely to lead to a ton of great offers this winter. As such, signing with Yomiuri was probably a smart move for him.

Parra has played in parts of 11 Major League seasons and is a career .276/.323/.404 hitter with 88 home runs, 264 doubles, 42 triples and 96 stolen bases playing for Arizona, San Francisco, Washington, the Brewers, Orioles and Rockies.

UPDATE: Parra will get $2 million guaranteed and up to $500K in bonuses this year. There is a  $ 3 million vesting option for 2021. Which, again, is really nice for a guy who probably would’ve had to search for a minor league deal this winter.

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.