Finally, some signs of life from Justin Morneau.
As noted by beat writer Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, the Twins first baseman hit a two-run homer, a three-run homer and drew a walk Saturday in a 19-4 Grapefruit League win over the Rays.
Morneau, who has struggled with post-concussion syndrome for close to two years, entered the game with a rough .108/.175/.135 spring batting line. Perhaps the outburst of power will give him some confidence heading into the regular season.
The 30-year-old hit just .227/.285/.333 with four home runs and 30 RBI in 69 games last season.
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.