Blue Jays outfielder George Springer has undergone surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports. Springer is expected to be ready in time for spring training next year.
Into the second year of a six-year, $150MM deal signed in 2021, Springer had another successful season, slashing .267/.342/.472 with 25 home runs and grading out as slightly above average in center, earning one Outs Above Average. It earned Springer his fourth trip to the All Star game this summer, and his first as a Blue Jay.
There had been plenty of uncertainty around Springer heading into the off-season, given the way his season ended. The 32-year-old was carted off the field during the Jays wildcard loss to the Mariners after colliding with teammate Bo Bichette while pursuing a fly ball. Earlier in the off-season, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Springer sustained a concussion and a strained left shoulder in that collision, so given this surgery was on his right elbow it appears this is unrelated.
The injury concerns do raise question marks over Springer’s future in center though. While he remained slightly above average in 2022, his numbers are declining as his Outs Above Average dropped from three to one this year, and Defensive Runs Saved dropped to -4 from -1 in 2021. Given Springer’s injury and the fact 2023 will be his age-33 season, it’s fair to wonder if the Jays may opt to shift him to a corner spot or DH him more frequently and seek an external upgrade in center. Springer remains an elite player though, and with $96.7MM and four years remaining on his contract, Toronto will be motivated to give his body the best chance to hold up over the life of that deal.