Padres tickets are selling like hotcakes

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In counseling against an Adrian Gonzalez trade, I’ve cited the idea that the Padres can’t trade him during season ticket renewal season because otherwise an already depressed and apathetic fan base may get even more turned off, if that’s even possible.

Well, turns out that the fan base may not be as depressed and apathetic as I thought, because as MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports, the team passed 71 percent on their season ticket renewals last week.  They renewed only 55 percent all of last offseason.
In addition, they’ve sold more new season tickets so far than all of last year.

None of which is to say that the Padres should go out and deal Gonzalez.  It does show, however, that (a) there’s a stronger fan base in San Diego than a lot of us realized; and (b) baseball’s relative resistance to the overall gloomy economic situation may be even more pronounced than we thought.

Report: Giants showed some interest in Phillies’ Maikel Franco at Winter Meetings

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.

Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.

Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.

Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.