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Report: Phillies have discussed demoting Maikel Franco to Triple-A


Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco has had a dismal season. Though his 2016 campaign wasn’t anything special, he hit 25 home runs and hit 88 RBI, showing enough promise that he could eventually become the Phillies’ third baseman of the future. This season, though, he’s skidding to a .209/.268/.349 batting line with only six home runs and 28 RBI in 190 plate appearances.

Franco looked so out of sorts at the plate that manager Pete Mackanin benched him for a couple of games during the team’s recent series against the Rockies. He’s once again not in the lineup for Tuesday’s game, though that’s apparently due to an illness.

Per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Mackanin said that the idea of demoting Franco to Triple-A Lehigh Valley has been discussed. He still has options, so that call is entirely up to the team.

Franco isn’t the only Phillie struggling mightily at the plate. 2016 All-Star Odubel Herrera has a .592 OPS. Freddy Galvis has a .681 OPS, and Michael Saunders is at .673. That helps explain why the Phillies have baseball’s worst record at 17-32.

Brewers are interested in Jake Arrieta

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Brewers may be interested in Jake Arrieta.

The Brewers could definitely use a front line starter, especially with Jimmy Nelson slated to miss a good chunk of next season due to a rotator cuff injury. Arrieta will be expensive, obviously, but the Brewers have a lot more payroll flexibility than most teams, with only minimal money due on long term contracts. Most of that is for Ryan Braun, but even the outlay for him is reasonable, with deferred money involved. Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel laid all of that out back in October.

Milwaukee had a surprisingly good 2017 and they have the ability to add in free agency or to take on salary in trades if they want to. Maybe they don’t get Arrieta but they could make a splash this offseason.