The Phillies sign Jeff Francoeur, seven others to minor league deals

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I can’t remember the last time I wanted a guy to make a team as much as I want Jeff Francoeur to make the Phillies next year. He’ll get his chance as he and seven others, including Xavier Paul, Russ Canzler and Brian Bogusevic, signed minor league deals with spring invites today.

Really, Francoeur on the Phillies is basically the trolling singularity for guys like me. I would probably watch every single Phillies game he started next season if he made it. I’d even consider a Phillies shirsey with his name on the back.

But, beyond that, I’m not mocking the deal here. It’s only a minor league thing. And a team that is rebuilding should be in the business of getting veteran placeholders who cost virtually nothing to keep spots warm until there is a plausible prospect to be used in his place. A mockable move would be to sign some 30something scrub to a multi-year deal to fill that spot. This is actually just good sense by Ruben Amaro. Stockpile veterans who are basically free and do your best to get through the season.

Still, I am totally on team Francoeur here. And I am dead serious about buying that shirsey if he makes the team. You guys remind me of this next April, OK?

Report: Nathan Eovaldi drawing interest from at least nine teams

Nathan Eovaldi
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Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.

Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.

A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.