Phillies rumors: Maikel Franco “almost certainly” will be replaced
The Atheltic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies will look to replace Maikel Franco, whether it be from inside or outside of the organization.
Maikel Franco provided plenty of excitement Sunday afternoon with his walk-off home run that ended a disappointing weekend on a high note. Cherish that memory because it may be the last time Franco provides a similar moment for the Phillies.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic [subscription required] reports that Philadelphia desires to replace Franco. In fact, Rosenthal said they will “almost certainly” look to find Franco’s replacement. He notes that the replacement could be internal with Scott Kingery taking over the reins at third base.
Either way, signs are pointing towards Franco’s time as a Phillie coming to an end. Rosenthal’s colleague at The Athletic, Jayson Stark, said on 97.5 The Fanatic a few weeks ago that he expects Franco to be traded either at the trade deadline or in the offseason.
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Franco has really turned things around in the last three weeks with six home runs, 13 runs batted in, and a 1.116 OPS in his last 18 games. However, his season-long numbers are still rough with a .237/.303/.438 line, 78 wRC+, and just 0.1 wins above replacement.
Franco was also benched Tuesday following failure to hustle on a ground ball in Monday’s blowout loss to the Dodgers.
Franco was not in the lineup Wednesday night as well, furthering the notion that he has fallen out of favor.
Besides Kingery, Franco could be replaced by prospect Alec Bohm as soon as next season. He has 12 home runs and a .926 OPS in 82 games across three levels. Bohm could conceivably start next season in the majors if there is a hole there.
A possible external replacement Stark brought up was Anthony Rendon, whom my co-expert George examined acquiring last month. The Nationals’ recent resurgence makes it unlikely they move him during the season, but Rendon will be a free agent after the season.
Whatever the team decides to do from here, it’s clear that Franco’s time in Philadelphia is coming to a close.