Reds starter Mat Latos will make a rehab start with Triple-A Louisville on Monday, and if all goes well, he could rejoin the Reds’ rotation later this week to make his 2014 season debut, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Latos, recovering from a strain in his right elbow, does not think the rehab start is necessary.
When Latos comes back, Tony Cingrani could move to the bullpen. He’s currently on the same schedule as Latos, and is clearly the easiest to move out of the rotation. Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey (despite his struggles) have cemented spots, while Alfredo Simon and Mike Leake are both pitching well. Cingrani is carrying a 4.09 ERA and a 53/28 K/BB ratio in 55 innings.
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.