Phillies’ Bryce Harper to have elbow surgery

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will have surgery to repair the tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow that forced the outfielder to spend the bulk of this season as designated hitter.

Phillies President Dave Dombrowski said there was no timetable on Harper’s recovery until after the surgery, which was scheduled for Nov. 23.

“We have no prognosis, really, until he goes into the elbow and takes a look at it,” Dombrowski said of the surgeon. “We’ll have something at that time with the surgery and the anticipation something will happen. I think it will slow him down for the season. We’ll know more next week.”

Harper suffered the small tear in April and last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow in May and shifted to the designated hitter role. Harper met this week with prominent orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, forcing the surgery.

“We always knew that was a possibility. We’ve known that for months,” Dombrowski said.

The elbow injury did little to slow Harper’s offense. The 30-year-old led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. He still hit .286 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs for the season. He was named NLCS MVP and hit six home runs overall in the playoffs.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million free-agent contract with the Phillies in 2019 and won the NL MVP award in 2021. A seven-time All-Star, Harper was the NL MVP with the Nationals in 2015 and has 285 career home runs.

Dombrowski said Harper’s availability for opening day and the early part of next season may not necessarily affect his decision-making in the offseason. Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and even catcher J.T Realmuto could play DH.

“You don’t ever want to lose Bryce, you really don’t,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “While we will be missing him, and looking forward to getting him back, it’ll give somebody else an opportunity.”

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.