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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper (elbow) underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, and the procedure went "very well," according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Harper could be back hitting competitively in mid-May. The Phillies official Twitter account reports that the prognosis is for Harper to return as the designated hitter by the All-Star break in 2023, with a possible return to play right field towards the end of the regular season. The 30-year-old All-Star will miss the start of the regular season next year after playing through a UCL injury to his right arm for most of the 2022 campaign. He still hit well despite the injury, batting .286/.364/.514 with an .877 OPS, 18 homers, 65 RBI, 63 run scored and 11 stolen bases in 370 at-bats, so fantasy managers shouldn't expect much of a drop-off, if any, when he returns.
The New York Yankees signed free agent superstar outfielder Aaron Judge to a nine-year, $360 million contract. The 30-year-old ultimately will remain with the Yankees after Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported that the slugger would sign with the Giants on Tuesday. Heyman later retracted his report. The star outfielder also met with the Padres Tuesday, but the Yankees bumped their offer Wednesday morning to keep him in New York. Judge had an incredible 2022 campaign, slashing .311/.425/.686 with 62 home runs, 131 RBI, 133 runs, and 16 stolen bases over 157 games with the Yankees in 2022. He set the American League home run record and was named the AL MVP last year. Judge is expected to be a top-five fantasy pick in upcoming 2023 fantasy drafts.
Free-agent left-hander David Price will not pitch in 2023, according to his long-time agent Bo McKinnis. Price isn't using the retirement word, but if this ends up being it for him, he'll finish his major-league career with a 157-82 record and a 3.32 ERA over 2,143 2/3 innings in 14 seasons. The five-time All-Star and 2013 American League Cy Young winner mostly worked as a reliever the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, posting a 3.47 ERA (4.11 FIP), a 1.33 WHIP, three saves and 95 strikeouts in 114 innings pitched over 79 appearances (11 starts). The 37-year-old was better in 2022 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 37 K's in 40 1/3 relief innings. If Price does return in 2024, it'll likely be in a limited relief role.
The San Diego Padres had a high level of disappointment when shortstop Trea Turner chose to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday for 11 years and $300 million, according to multiple sources. The precise terms of the Padres' offer to Turner weren't known, but two people not directly involved but familiar with the dealings said the Padres offered Turner more than the Phillies. San Diego drafted Turner 13th overall in 2014, only later to trade him to the Washington Nationals in a three-team deal that brought Wil Myers to the Friars. Turner and his wife were said all along to prefer the East Coast since they're both from Florida. A team source said Monday that the Padres are no longer in the market for a shortstop and were always really only in it for Turner, who since the start of 2016 has led baseball in steals (228) and ranked ninth in batting average (.303).
The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams talking to long-time Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. The Miami Marlins have also reached out. Turner became a free agent when the Dodgers declined his 2023 option for $16 million. The 38-year-old looked more his age last year in his ninth year in LA. He still hit a respectable .278 with a .350 on-base percentage in 532 plate appearances (128 games), but his power was down considerably with only 13 home runs after clubbing 27 in 2021. Turner drove in 81 runs and scored 61 runs for the Blue. The two-time All-Star is transitioning to more of a designated-hitter role at the tail end of his career, but he could return to the Dodgers for another year. The Marlins are desperately in need of more hitting.
The San Francisco Giants are believed to have offered in the neighborhood of $360 million to free-agent outfielder Aaron Judge, but the assumption/belief among rivals is that the New York Yankees remain the favorites to re-sign the record-breaking slugger. MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported earlier on Tuesday that Judge appeared headed to the Giants before backtracking on his report. There's still a chance that the Giants could lure the 30-year-old American League MVP away from the Bronx, even after signing outfielder Mitch Haniger on Tuesday. Judge could make his decision before the Winter Meetings conclude this Thursday. He set the AL home run record with 62 home runs last season while also driving in 131 runs and scoring 133.
The Houston Astros are interested in free-agent outfielders Michael Conforto and Andrew Benintendi as potential options to play left field, per MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Both are left-handed hitters and would complement the host of right-handed hitters in the Astros' current lineup. Conforto did not play in 2022 due to shoulder surgery, but he compiled a .255/.356/.468 slash line in seven seasons with the New York Mets. Benintendi had a decent season with the Royals and Yankees, slashing .304/.373/.399 with five home runs, 51 RBI and eight steals. While neither offers a ton of upside from a fantasy perspective, either player's value would certainly be higher if they held an everyday role in the Astros' lineup.
The Chicago Cubs are "closing in on" a deal with free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Tuesday. The Cubs also finalized a one-year deal with first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger earlier in the day. Taillon had an excellent first half of the 2022 season with the Yankees before tapering off and ended with a 14-5 record and a 3.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a 20.7% strikeout rate in 32 starts. While it does look like the Cubs are attempting to bolster their roster overall, this would not be an ideal landing spot for Taillon from a fantasy perspective, as the Cubs had a middling lineup last season.
The San Francisco Giants and free-agent outfielder Mitch Haniger agreed to a three-year, $43.5 million deal on Tuesday, according to sources. Signing Haniger doesn't take the Giants out of the running for superstar free-agent slugger Aaron Judge. The Giants have been pursuing both Haniger and Judge on the open market. San Fran was able to land Haniger at a pretty decent cost because of a long list of injuries early in his career. The 31-year-old managed to play in only 57 games in 2022, hitting .246/.308/.429 with 11 home runs, 34 RBI and 31 runs scored in 247 plate appearances. Haniger can be a real fantasy contributor if he stays healthy, as evidenced by a 2021 season in which he slashed .253/.318/.485 with an .804 OPS, aa career-high 39 home runs, 100 RBI and 110 runs scored in 157 games.
The Chicago Cubs and free-agent outfielder Cody Bellinger agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million deal on Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the deal. The Los Angeles Dodgers chose to non-tender the 2019 National League MVP after he hit just .210/.265/.389 with 19 home runs, 68 RBI, 70 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in 550 plate appearances over 144 games in 2022. That was after he batted .165 with 10 homers and 36 RBI in 95 games in 2021. The 27-year-old is hoping to reset his value with a much better 2023 campaign, and he figures to be an every-day starting center fielder for the rebuilding Cubs. The Colorado Rockies were discussing a one-year deal with Bellinger before he chose the Cubs, while the Toronto Blue Jays were also interested.
The Texas Rangers signed free-agent left-hander Andrew Heaney to an undisclosed deal on Tuesday, according to a source. Heaney already had a few three-year offers on the open market, but he was pushing for a fourth year. It's unclear if he got that with Texas after throwing 75 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022. The Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants were also interested in the 31-year-old southpaw. Starting pitching has been a priority for Texas this offseason, as they've already traded for Jake Odorizzi and signed Jacob deGrom to a five-year deal. Injuries limited Heaney to just 16 outings (14 starts) in 2022 for the Dodgers, but he had a strong 3.10 ERA (3.75 FIP), a 1.09 WHIP and 110 strikeouts in 72 2/3 innings when he was on the mound.