HBT Weekend Wrapup

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What you missed while shamefully watching lesser sports:

  • Sticking with the Mets, Jason Bay is holding out hope
    that he can return this season. I’m holding out hope that they’ll
    release “WKRP in Cincinnati” on DVD with the original songs restored
    instead of those awful generic ones, but at least I’m coming to grips
    with reality. Hold me closer, tiny dancer.
  • Bob Geren is coming back for 2011. He’s done a good job. More importantly, he and Billy Beane are really, really tight. We’re going to wake up one day and Bob Geren will be the longest tenured manager in baseball and we’re all going to say “wow, really?”
  • Mike Lowell is retiring. Yeah, the $12 million or whatever it is made things nice and bearable, but it was a pretty miserable year for the guy in many ways.

OK, now I feel less out of whack. We now return you to your work week, which was already in progress.

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
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The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.