It is apparent that the KC Royals signed the former Philadelphia Phillies third baseman to use as trade bait before the deadline.
If the KC Royals viewed Maikel Franco as a long-term option at the hot corner they would have negotiated a contract with at least two to three years of team control. Since he was signed for a budget-friendly $2.95 million with options that could push it to $4 million, they could have secured his services for more seasons and still not spent much more than that per year.
This deal has all the makings of a Dayton Moore special. Take a player who struggled the last season or two for a one year deal and hope he regains enough production that a playoff contender will ship you a prospect or two for his services the last two months of the season.
Injuries play a large part in a team having an immediate for help in a playoff hunt, but other teams may have questionable players to begin with. If Franco can hit .250-.260 and put 12-15 balls out of the park by mid-July, he will be a marketable asset. He will also only be 28 years old at the end of August which is more attractive than a player at the twilight of his career.
These factors should allow the Royals to expect a greater return than a trade involving an older player like Ian Kennedy. Of course, Franco will need a return to his 2018 form when he slashed .270/.314/.467 in Philly and not the player whose OPS was 75 points less than that in 2019.
The potential is there for Franco, he was the NL Rookie of the Month in June of 2015 when he put together his best Sabermetric numbers in 80 games that season. He takes heat on his fielding but it should be pointed out that he finished fourth last year in fielding percentage for third basemen in the senior circuit.
We will take a look at three possible landing spots for him as the KC Royals hope Franco can bring value in a deadline deal.