Royals send No. 35 pick to Braves for trio of prospects

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals traded their competitive balance pick in the upcoming amateur draft to the Atlanta Braves on Monday for a trio of minor league players, including former second-round pick Drew Waters.

Unlike regular draft picks, competitive balance selections can be traded provided they are not dealt for cash. The one sent to the Braves is No. 35 overall, which means it comes between Sunday’s first round and the second round.

The 23-year-old Waters, an outfielder picked 41st overall in the 2017 draft, was hitting .252 while playing primarily with Triple-A Gwinnett this season. He spent last season at the Triple-A level, where he stole 28 bases in 103 games, and has been optioned by Kansas City to its Triple-A club at Omaha.

The other two players acquired by the Royals are right-hander Andrew Hoffman, who is 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 15 starts at Class-A Rome this season, and infielder CJ Alexander, who is hitting .258 at Double-A Mississippi.

The Royals assigned both of those players to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

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.