The Rangers aren’t signing Kyle Lohse

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After Martin Perez suffered a forearm fracture when he was hit by a comebacker on Sunday, there was immediate speculation that the Rangers could make a play for free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse. But it’s not going to happen.

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com was given this firm denial from a Rangers’ source today:

“We are not going to sign Kyle Lohse. I can’t be clearer than that.”

Lohse had a 2.86 ERA in 33 starts with the Cardinals last season, but he has failed to garner much interest this winter because he is tied to draft pick compensation. Still, that hasn’t stopped his agent, Scott Boras, from trying to land a three-year deal and a “big” annual salary.

As for now, Robbie Ross appears to the the favorite for the fifth spot in the Rangers’ rotation. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed one run over four innings this afternoon against the Cubs and has a 3.00 ERA over nine innings of work this spring.

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.