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.”

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.