Talks of a potential trade between San Diego and Philadelphia have resurfaced as more Padres rumors roll in.
Per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, rumors of a potential trade between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres have surfaced, again. This isn’t the first time these two teams have been connected by trade talks, with both franchises discussing a move involving Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco back at the trade deadline.
“Meanwhile, third baseman Maikel Franco is pretty much a sure bet to be traded, and he knows that. According to sources, there is a deal to be made with San Diego” says Salisbury in his article. Philadelphia has been heavily connected to current free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, with many believing they have a serious chance at attracting the former Dodgers and Orioles third baseman.
When the two teams were first discussing a potential deal, Christian Villanueva was the starting third baseman for San Diego and playing fairly well. In fact, the offensive numbers of both third basemen were nearly identical, minus Franco’s extremely impressive strikeout rate. Since then, Villanueva is in the process of becoming a utility infielder capable of playing all four infield positions and Wil Myers is the starting third baseman, one that complains about working on fundamentals at a position he’s never played before.
A trade for Franco didn’t appear to make much sense back then, I referred to it as an “unnecessary lateral move.” However, the idea is much more appealing now.
This rumor comes just hours after San Diego Union-Tribune beat writer Kevin Acee reported that the Padres were interested in making a move for Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez.
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Maikel Franco’s price tag would be much more affordable for the San Diego Padres.
With an extremely team-friendly contract and back-to-back big seasons at the plate, the Padres will have to give up a significant amount of talent to acquire the services of Suárez, however, Franco would come at a much lower price. Could a package of either Kirby Yates or Craig Stammen and a few prospects be enough for Franco? Quite possibly.
Franco is coming off a season in which he hit .270 with 22 home runs, a .314 OBP, and a 105 wRC+. He now has three straight seasons of 22 or more home runs, a strikeout rate of under 17%, and increases in his ISO power, up to .196 in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander struggles to hit lefties, however, he posted an .818 OPS with runners in scoring position, rarely strikes out, put up impressive numbers when batting near the bottom of the lineup, and is controllable. He isn’t the player that Suárez is, but he is an upgrade for San Diego.
It’s clear that AJ Preller wants to make a move for a third baseman, effectively moving Wil Myers to the outfield, or to another organization. Do you spend big and go after Suárez or trade away replaceable/blocked pieces for Maikel Franco?