Rather than accept another minor-league contract and try to pitch his way back to the majors again 37-year-old right-hander Freddy Garcia has signed with the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan, where he’ll be the highest-player in the history of the league.
Who previously held that distinction? None other than Manny Ramirez, who played in Taiwan last season and hit .352. Garcia’s deal is worth $56,000 per month for seven months, according to the Associated Press, and apparently Ramirez’s positive experience playing in Taiwan helped convince Garcia to follow suit.
Garcia looked set to be part of the Braves’ starting rotation coming out of spring training, but instead Atlanta opted to release him. Now he’ll earn quite a bit more than he would have pitching at Triple-A and, if Ramirez’s experience is any indication, Garcia will probably have a lot of fun playing in Taiwan too.
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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.