Philadelphia Phillies: Maikel Franco “More than available”

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 27: Maikel Franco
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 27: Maikel Franco /

Philadelphia Phillies young third baseman, Maikel Franco, was once untouchable in trade talks. Now he could be gone before the trade deadline.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe broke the story

This season Franco is slashing .216/.276/.366/.642 in 287 at bats. He struck out 44 times, walked 24. Despite the pedestrian slash line, he is almost on pace to replicate his home run and RBI numbers from last year (25, 88). He has 10 home runs and 38 RBIs through 75 games.

I can’t blame the Phillies for putting Franco on the trade block. He hasn’t lived up to expectations at all. He had a very good short season back in 2015 where he slashed .280/.343/.497/.840 in 304 at bats. In that 80 game stretch, he hit 14 home runs and had 50 RBIs. After last season’s trying effort, it’s looking like that 80 game stretch was a hot streak for him, kind of like that tear Dom Brown went on back in 2013 where he made the All-Star game.

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Unfortunately for the Philadelphia Phillies, they don’t really have a third base prospect worth writing home about. Per their website, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs don’t currently have someone on their roster that is a true third baseman.

The only person that plays an infield position for the IronPigs and appears to be major league ready is Scott Kingery. The two knocks on him are that he’s only had a few games experience at the AAA level and that he hasn’t played third base before. If we’re lucky, the IronPigs might give him some reps at the hot corner in future games. The worst thing that happens? He gets moved back to second where he’s been killing it all season long.

Even though there isn’t a third baseman knocking down the door at AAA, I would still entertain offers for Maikel Franco if I were a part of the Phillies front office. The only place the Philadelphia Phillies are heading this season is the record books for the worst season in MLB history. There are two serviceable third baseman on the 40 man roster as it stands, Andres Blanco and Ty Kelly. While they are far from long-term solutions at the hot-corner, they can definitely fill in for the remainder of the season if Franco gets traded.

This isn’t to say they should just let him go because someone made them an offer. I’m all for trading Franco, but at the right price. He has too much upside to be sold for a bag of balls. If the Phillies decide to stick it out with Franco I’d be okay with that too. I would definitely send him down to AAA to try to get his swagger back, though.

All of that said, I think it would be in the Phils best interest to entertain offers for Maikel Franco. As Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported, Franco is “more than available in trade talks”. I’m confident they can find a suitor, someone might throw a top 10 prospect to get a power hitting third baseman with 30 home run, 100 RBI potential.

Next: Phillies:Nick Williams Promoted from AAA

At the end of the day, it would get his contract off our books and free up the hot corner for the Phillies to land Manny Machado in free agency next winter. #MachadoToPhilly. You heard it here first.