NEW YORK – Infielder Isaiah Keener-Phalefa and the New York Yankees on Friday agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal that avoids salary arbitrage.
Keener-Falefa received a $1.3 million raise in a deal that was reached as the evening deadline approached for teams to offer 2023 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man roster.
New York also pressed right-hander Junior Fernandez out of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Keener-Falefa was acquired by the Yankees after the lockout and hit .261 with four homers and 22 stolen bases. He finished sixth among major league shortstops with 10 runs saved on defense but made 15 errors.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone left Keener-Falef on the bench in Game 4 of the Division Series against Cleveland. Keener-Falefa made a mistake in the first game and looked insecure in regular games.
“I feel that in some of the major stressful situations during the season, he did a great job,” Boon said. “Therefore, he always answered the call very well after a mistake. This time around, I feel like it’s snowballed a bit on this series, so it sort of goes into that.”
In Game 4 of the AL Championship Series against Houston, rookie Jeremy Peña hit what was supposed to be a double. Gleyber Torres in the seventh. But his throw to second base missed Keener Falef, setting up Houston’s two-run pitch that saw the Astros win four games.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said Tuesday that Anthony Wolpe and Oswald Peraza during spring training, there will be an opportunity to earn extra money in the field.
Keener-Falefah will be entitled to free agency after the World Series.
He spent his first four major league seasons in Texas before being traded to Minnesota on March 12 with right-hander Ronny Henriquez for catcher. Mitch Garverand the next day gave the Yankees with a third baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Ben Rortvedt Yankees for catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela.
The 25-year-old Fernandez had a 2.41 ERA in 15 games for St. Louis and Pittsburgh, batting 14 and passing 12 in 18 2/3 innings while hitting eight—three of them homers. He was 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA in 41 games in Triple-A Memphis and Indianapolis. Fernandez is 1-1 with a 5.16 ERA in 50 assist games in four seasons with the Cardinals (2019-22) and the Pirates.
PHILADELPHIA – Phillies Slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday.
The operation was performed by Dr. Neil ElAttrah in Los Angeles.
Harper is expected to return to the Philadelphia roster as a forward for the All-Star break. According to the team, he can return to the field by the end of the season.
In April, 30-year-old Harper suffered a minor ulnar lateral ligament tear in his elbow joint. He last played right field in Miami on April 16. In May, he received an injection of platelet-rich plasma and switched to the role of a striker.
On November 14, Harper met with ElAttrache, who decided that the tear would not heal on its own, requiring surgery.
Even with an elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost to Houston in six games. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.
In late June, Harper broke his thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was out of action for two months. The two-time NL MVP is still hitting .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. Seven-time All-Star Harper has 285 career home runs.
Without Harper, the Phillies could have used Nick Castellanos as well as Kyle Schwarber at the designated hitter. JT Realmuto can also serve as a DH when he needs to take a break from his fishing duties.