Royals designate Jeff Francoeur for assignment

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The Royals have designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment, reports Bob Dutton on Twitter. The veteran wasn’t producing at all, carrying a .574 OPS into today’s game against the Twins. He struck out in his only plate appearance of the day, pinch-hitting for Jarrod Dyson.

Francoeur is only 29 years old, but has followed up a season in which he posted negative 2.3 WAR with negative 0.8 through his team’s first 78 games. The Royals promoted Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha to take Francoeur’s place on the roster.

Francoeur hasn’t been as terrible in previous years and has a great reputation around baseball as a good clubhouse guy, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a couple teams expressed interest. Even using him in a platoon role is out of the question, though, as he has barely hit lefties better than righties over the last two seasons.

Report: Joe Girardi waiting for opening with Cubs

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi took himself out of the running for the Reds’ and Rangers’ managerial openings. The “industry speculation” is that Girardi is waiting a year for a potential opening to manage the Cubs.

Current Cubs manager Joe Maddon has one more year left on his contract. While the Cubs have played quite well under his tenure, the front office and Maddon haven’t had any discussions about an extension, which means 2019 might be his final year with the club. Under Maddon’s leadership since 2015, the Cubs won the championship in 2016 and compiled a 387-261 (.597) record during the regular season.

Girardi, 54, spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Cubs and another three towards the end of his career. He managed the Marlins for one year in 2006, then managed the Yankees from 2008-17, leading them to a World Series in ’09 and an overall regular season record of 910-710 (.562).