Brewers acquire Juan Francisco from Braves, call up Scooter Gennett

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Atlanta designated Juan Francisco for assignment last week and today the Braves traded him to the Brewers for minor leaguer Thomas Keeling. Milwaukee also called up second baseman Scooter Gennett from Triple-A.

Francisco has been exclusively a third baseman in the majors, but given how awful the Brewers’ production has been at first base he should see time there until Corey Hart returns. Part of that lack of first base production, 36-year-old Alex Gonzalez, was released to make room on the roster for Francisco. If nothing else Francisco adds some left-handed power to the mix, but he’s also a career .254 hitter with a lousy .299 on-base percentage and 164/29 K/BB ratio.

Gennett could push the struggling Rickie Weeks at second base, although he’s hardly a top prospect. At age 23 he was hitting .297 with one homer and a .719 OPS in 50 games at Triple-A and Gennett had similar numbers with a .293 batting average, five homers, and a .714 OPS in 133 games at Double-A last season.

Keeling is a non-prospect and the 25-year-old former 18th-round pick has a 6.26 ERA as a pro.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.