Ehire Adrianza returns to Braves in trade with Nationals

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ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves re-acquired infielder Ehire Adrianza from the Washington Nationals in exchange for a minor league outfielder.

The Braves cleared a spot for Adrianza when veteran Robinson Cano was designated for assignment after hitting .154 in nine games.

As the Braves await the return of second baseman Ozzie Albies from a broken left foot, which is expected by late August, Adrianza provides depth behind Orlando Arcia.

The Nationals acquired outfielder Trey Harris, who hit .238 for Double-A Mississippi this season.

Trading Adrianza is the Nationals’ first but almost certainly not last move before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Star outfielder Juan Soto could be the biggest name on the move if Washington opts to deal him, while Josh Bell is among several pending free agents who seem likely to be traded.

The 26-year-old Harris was drafted by Atlanta in the 32nd round in 2018.

Adrianza, 32, hit .179 in 31 games for the Nationals this season. The native of Venezuela helped Atlanta win the World Series last season, when he hit .247 with five homers and 28 RBI in 109 games.

Adrianza hit .250 with three homers and 12 RBIs as a pinch-hitter last season. His 16 hits in those situations tied for the lead in the majors.

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.