The latest Phillies trade rumor centers around the former third baseman of the future, Maikel Franco.
Jayson Stark, the Philadelphia-native Hall of Fame writer currently with The Athletic, made a comment on 97.5 The Fanatic Monday morning that perked the ears of those waiting for a Phillies trade rumor.
When discussing the status of third baseman Maikel Franco, Stark seemed to believe that Franco’s time in Philadelphia is coming to an end, perhaps as soon as this month.
"Maikel’s not going to be here long. Um, I would not be surprised if he gets traded, it’s possible in July, but almost certainly this offseason."
Start also added that he “also wouldn’t be shocked if Anthony Rendon was playing third (in for the Phillies) next year. We took a look at possibly acquiring Rendon last month when Franco lost playing time.
Franco started just 16 games and had 66 plate appearances hitting .267 in the month of June. After hitting just .150 in the first eight games of June Franco was benched and playing sparingly before he started his current seven game hitting streak.
Franco is hitting .423 with three home runs during this current streak, the type of stretch that seems to happen every couple of months that reignites the hope that Franco can be an everyday player.
Unfortunately, those stretches have been going on for the last five years with little answer as to whether or not Franco can be the third baseman of the future. Manager Gabe Kapler has benched Franco several times, and top prospect Alec Bohm is moving quickly through the minor league system.
If the Phillies do trade Franco this month, they don’t have many options in terms of replacing him. Sean Rodriguez and Brad Miller are purely utility men who are decent bats off the bench, but they shouldn’t be relied on to start during a playoff run.
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Scott Kingery could move to third should Franco be moved, creating a path for Roman Quinn or Adam Haseley to get more playing time. Philadelphia could also dip back into the outfield trade market, which appears to be fairly bare.
Franco could work for a team entering a rebuild who would work through his many peaks and valleys. Detroit could be an option if a trade for starting pitcher Matthew Boyd is in play.
San Francisco would be an option if not for Evan Longoria’s massive contract almost forcing the Giants to play him. Baltimore, Seattle, and Kansas City all have young third basemen, likely taking them out of the mix.
Ideally, the Phillies would add either an established starting pitcher or outfielder for the playoffs who doesn’t strap the team financially. Expect a lot of Phillies trade rumor news this month.
Regardless, it sounds as if the Franco era is coming to an end after years of waiting for him to have a consistent season.