Red Sox non-tender Juan Francisco

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Making official what was presumed after they designated him for assignment last week, the Red Sox non-tendered third baseman/first baseman Juan Francisco.

Boston claimed Francisco off waivers from Toronto on November 19 to give them a fallback option at third base, but signing Pablo Sandoval (and Hanley Ramirez) made him superfluous.

Francisco isn’t much of a defender and can’t hit left-handed pitching, but against right-handers his career .786 OPS is higher than the career OPS versus righties by, among others, Michael Brantley, Billy Butler, Yoenis Cespedes, Eric Hosmer, and Michael Cuddyer.

He’ll land somewhere in a part-time role.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.