PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies are looking to lock up third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a report. Hector Gomez of Z101 in the Dominican Republic reports the Phillies have offered the 23-year-old slugger a six-year deal worth $39 million. The Phils are hoping to get out in front of some money they will owe Franco as his career progresses. Franco is arbitration eligible in 2018 and scheduled to hit free agency in 2022. Last season, Franco hit .280/.343/.497 in 80 games with 14 homers, 22 doubles, and 50 RBI’s.
Me gusta! Now this is how you play the damn game behind the scenes. So much for the Ruben Amaro way of doing things like overpaying for senior citizens or giving a billion dollars just for the rights to Miguel Alfredo González, a Cuban who would get smacked around at the D-III level. You lock ‘em up before they’re hot, and believe me, Maikel Franco will be on the verge of MVP status sooner than later. He is launching outright BOMBS this spring. His biggest issue hasn’t been talent, it’s been swinging at every damn pitch that comes his way. Well, Maikel has learned how to be patient almost overnight. And the results are to the tune of 7 HR and 17 RBI while hitting .325 in exhibition ball.
Franco is 23 and Phillies legend Mike Schmidt says he has potential to be better than he was at the hot corner. Lock him up. Not today, not tomorrow. NOW.