Third baseman Juan Francisco, designated for assignment by the Braves on Thursday, has drawn interest from five different teams, reports David O’Brien. The Braves have about a week to trade him before putting him through waivers, after which they would either release him or send him to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Francisco had hit five homers and carried a disappointing .287 on-base percentage in 115 plate appearances. Chris Johnson, currently hitting .336, will assume the everyday role at third base after having been platooned with Francisco.
The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.
Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.
Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.