Dodgers, Muncy agree to $13.5M deal for 2023

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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers and two-time All-Star Max Muncy agreed Monday on a $13.5 million, one-year contract for 2023

The deal includes a $10 million club option for 2024 with no buyout.

His option price can increase by $4 million based on plate appearances next year: $250,000 each for 50, 250, 300 and 350, $500,000 apiece for 400 and 450, and $1 million each for 500 and 550. He would get a one-time assignment bonus of $1 million if traded.

“This place means everything to me. There’s not anywhere else that I’d rather play,” Muncy said. “Hopefully, there’s more after that.”

The outfielder, who turns 32 next week, has struggled this season. He’s hitting .190 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs while playing in 99 games for the team with the best record in baseball.

Muncy has shown signs of coming around this month when he’s batted .328 with seven homers and 15 RBI and a 1.185 OPS.

Manager Dave Roberts said Muncy’s improved numbers are encouraging.

“But this was already in the works when he wasn’t swinging well,” he said.

Last season, Muncy hit .249 with a career-high 36 homers and 94 RBIs and career-bests in total bases (262) and extra-base hits (64). He earned his second All-Star selection, but his year ended early when he injured the UCL on his glove hand on a play at first base in the last game of the regular season.

“I feel pretty close. I’m not going to say 100%,” he said of his physical status. “If I can get right for October, that’s what I care about.”

He’s in his fifth season with the Dodgers.

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.