After being non-tendered by the Philadelphia Phillies, third baseman Maikel Franco has found a new team with the Kansas City Royals after signing a one-year deal. The Royals have control over Franco for two years, as he is arbitration-eligible in 2020.
The 27-year old Franco started off his career displaying his power, hitting 71 home runs from 2015-2018. However, Franco fell off this past season, hitting a career-low .234 with 17 HR and 56 RBI. After a rough season, the Phillies moved on from Franco.
At the beginning of the offseason, Royals General Manager Dayton Moore said there was interest in adding a third baseman to the roster. The Royals moved to Franco, who might just need a change in scenery to fully live up to his potential. The signing of Franco is going to shake up the look of the field for the Royals.
Where does he fit?
Franco is expected to be the everyday third baseman for the team, moving 2019 breakout star Hunter Dozier from third base to right field. Franco can also play first base, with MLB experience at the position. With the move of Dozier to right, franchise star and cornerstone Whit Merrifield is expected to move from right field to the everyday center field. As Alex Gordon is still mulling the decision on whether to return or retire, left field is still open, but if Gordon decides to return, he would still be the everyday left fielder.
With the shift in the outfield, two young players for the Royals are in a tough situation. Outfielders Brett Phillips and Bubba Starling, who are out of options to the minor leagues, are looking to be the backup outfielders, rotating around the entire outfield with their versatility. This also means that American League Home Run Champion, Jorge Soler, will serve as the designated hitter.
Looking at the lineup for the team after this signing, my everyday lineup prediction for the Kansas City Royals is:
Whit Merrifield- CF
Adalberto Mondesi- SS
Hunter Dozier- RF
Jorge Soler- DH
Salvador Perez- C
Maikel Franco- 3B
Ryan O’Hearn- 1B
Alex Gordon- LF
Nicky Lopez- 2B
The signing of Franco creates a huge shakeup throughout the field, while adding more power to the lineup, with the slugging third baseman, along with the return of 2015 World Series MVP and 6-time All-Star catcher Salvador Perez.
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