Phillies call up top prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A

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Philadelphia has called up third base prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A, which was the assumed follow-up move to the Phillies demoting third baseman Cody Asche to Triple-A so he could make the switch to left field.

Franco is just 22 years old and his plate discipline needs work, but he hit .355 in 33 games at Triple-A to earn the call-up. He also finished last season on a major tear at Triple-A, although his overall numbers were underwhelming because of a brutal start.

Franco ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect this year and last year, typically being slotted into the 40-60 range for 2015. He’s shown good power in the minors, including 20 homers and 45 doubles in 166 total games at Triple-A, but he’s never drawn as many as 40 walks in a season.

Also of note: No doubt the Phillies will deny this was a factor, but by calling up Franco today he’ll finish precisely one day short of a full season’s worth of service time once combined with his September action last season. Coincidentally, of course. Funny how that works.

Gallegos agrees to $11M, 2-year contract with Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.