Phillies

Former Phillie Franco ends up with the Braves

Phillies

Former Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco has joined the Braves on a minor-league contract. 

Franco is not on the Braves’ active roster, though the deal took place at the end of August so he would be eligible to participate in the postseason if he’s added this month, The Athletic reports. That would not have been the case if he signed after September 1.

Franco, 29, last played for the Phillies in 2019. He played all 60 games in 2020 with the Royals and had a strong two-month season, hitting .278 with a .778 OPS, 16 doubles, 8 home runs and 38 RBI.

It was a one-year deal for Franco in Kansas City and he signed another in March with the Orioles. Baltimore released him on August 25 after he hit .210 with a .253 on-base percentage over 403 plate appearances.

The Braves, who entered the week two games up on the Phillies in the NL East with 26 games to go, have NL MVP candidates at both infield corners with first baseman Freddie Freeman and third baseman Austin Riley. Barring a major injury, Franco’s role if called up would be right-handed bat off the bench.

Franco showed promise early in his big-league career as a Phillie and looked like he could stick as an everyday player with a strong 80-game run in 2015, but he just never reached base enough thereafter. He played consistent defense and hit 25, 24 and 22 home runs over the next three seasons but did so with a .299 OBP. 

 

A handful of years later, the Phillies have another young third baseman who experienced quick success in the majors before stagnating in Alec Bohm. Bohm is at Triple A, where he’s working on defense and driving the ball more consistently.

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