Last week Chris Young signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has the details.
According to Crasnick the deal includes a March 24 opt-out clause, which is uncommon in that most opt-out clauses are tied to a player making or not making the Opening Day roster. In this case Young will be deciding whether or not to stay before spring training is even over.
If he does stick around and make the team Crasnick reports that Young will get $2 million in upfront money and can earn another $3.8 in potential incentives based on starts and innings. Considering his lengthy injury history and lack of high innings totals Young won’t approach that figure, but it’s enough money that deciding to keep him around may not be a total no-brainer for the Nationals.
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.