Nationals: Maikel Franco a cost efficient option at third base
If the Washington Nationals are looking for a third baseman, Maikel Franco is a lot more cost effective than Kris Bryant.
What is the more hot button topic this offseason for the Nationals, the catching quandary or the third base dilemma? The Kris Bryant to Washington rumors heated up some lately, though were quelled with the report the Nats were going to spread their money around as they filled the holes this winter. While it appears Carter Kieboom will get his chance to earn the third base job entering the year, free agent Maikel Franco could be a financial friendly player to bring in for a little competition for said assignment.
Franco was a bit of a surprise non-tender by the Kansas City Royals, when they cut him loose prior to the deadline earlier in the week. He played in all 60 games for the Royals this past season hitting .278.
Prior to joining the Royals on a one year contract, which paid him just shy of $3M, Franco played six years for the Philadelphia Phillies. He is a decent power hitter and gets on base at a good enough clip to throw out there on a regular basis if Kieboom continues to struggle at the plate. Either Franco takes over at third, or is a right handed bat off the bench.
The Nationals have a lot of areas to address this offseason, and as we near the second week of December, they haven’t made any substantial moves. Bringing in a guy like Franco is low-risk, high-reward. He can be had cheap and could end up being a valuable power source. One which was greatly missed during the 2020 season.
Little has been released on what the Nationals are thinking thus far in terms of free agents. We know more about who they are not interested in than we do on who they are currently courting.
Even though he can be had cheaply, signing Franco doesn’t mean the Nationals are punting on third base and saving the dollars for the outfield, first base, and the rotation. Franco would be a solid addition and a great backup plan if the Nationals have Carter Kieboom on a short leash.