Hanley Ramirez limited to pinch-running for rest of season

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After sitting out a week with an elbow injury Hanley Ramirez played last night, but was limited to pinch-running duties and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that he’s “basically out for the season.”
Ramirez will continue to be available as a runner, but won’t be able to hit or play defense in the Marlins’ final six games. That means he’ll finish the season hitting .300/.378/.475 with 21 homers and 32 steals in 142 games, which is both an excellent year for a shortstop and a big dropoff from his 2007-2009 production.
During that three-year stretch he posted OPS totals of .948, .940, and .953, while this year’s mark is “only” .853. Of course, an .853 OPS still ranks second to only Troy Tulowitzki among all MLB shortstops. Ramirez has been merely All-Star caliber instead of MVP caliber.

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.