The Philadelphia Phillies head into this offseason ready to build upon a roster that made a World Series run, but they might be without the services of Bryce Harper, the man who helped them get there.
Bob Nightengale tweeted that team president Dave Dombrowski announced that the former MVP outfielder will have UCL surgery next week. Right now, it's unclear if it will be Tommy John, which could cost him a chunk of next season.
The MLB reporter tweeted:
"Bryce Harper will undergo UCL surgery next Wednesday, Phillies president Dave Dombrowski announces, and it remains unknown whether it will be Tommy John surgery, and how long he'll be sidelined in 2023."
It's unclear exactly when this injury was sustained. It's also unclear if Harper played through the injury in the postseason or not. If so, it would make his 2022 postseason even more impressive.
What can the Phillies do if Harper is sidelined?
Fortunately, this news comes early enough in the offseason that Philadelphia can still find a replacement if Harper is forced to miss a period of next season. The outfield market is deep enough that they can find a good player.
Harper is unlikely to miss all of next season, but they will need production in his absence no matter how long he is out for.
Assuming the Phillies don't break the bank for Aaron Judge, there are plenty of solid options out there, including:
- Michael Brantley ($8 million AAV expected)
- Jason Heyward ($4 million AAV expected)
- Wil Myers ($11 million AAV expected)
- Joey Gallo ($9 million AAV expected)
- Andrew Benintendi ($17 million AAV expected)
- Mitch Haniger ($15 million AAV expected)
- Adam Duvall ($7 million AAV expected)
The Phillies would probably prefer to spend that money on an impact player at a position of true need, rather than a replacement for Harper.
The surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, November 23. By then, more details will be released surrounding what type of surgery it will be and a potential timetable for recovery and return after that.