Last night the Blue Jays traded a player to be named later to the Rockies for catcher Miguel Olivo, and then less than two hours later they made Olivo a free agent by declining his $2.5 million option for 2011.
That may sound crazy considering Toronto had to pay Olivo a $500,000 buyout, but as Jordan Bastian of MLB.com explains it was actually a pretty shrewd move by general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Olivo is a Type B free agent, which means the Blue Jays are now in line to receive a compensatory draft pick if he declines their offer of arbitration and signs elsewhere. Assuming that happens, they basically just bought a draft pick between the first and second rounds for $500,000 and a PTBNL.
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.