Report: Phillies Offer Maikel Franco 6-Year, $39M Deal
Maikel Franco has been a man possessed this spring. He’s hit seven homers already — the most in all of baseball during spring training. Just today, he singled to break up a no-hitter in an exhibition game. Going into today’s game, he was hitting .325 on the spring — with a ridiculous .850 slugging percentage.
The second-year slugger, just 23 years old, is looking like he could have a big season. And now the Phillies are trying to lock him up for a long time.
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 21, 2016
Here’s the deal, though: With the way baseball works, Franco is actually already “locked up” until 2022. This deal would essentially be buying out all of his arbitration years, which begin in 2018, until he hits free agency.
If the report is true, the Phillies are trying to lock Franco up now, while he’s cheap. The Tampa Bay Rays did this with Evan Longoria in 2008. They’d be paying Franco more in the near term, but would be saving money in the longer term if he blossomed into a star.
For example: Philliedelphia notes Ryan Howard got $54 million for his final three arbitration years.
The offer may be a way for the Phillies to smooth things over with Franco, who filed a grievance over his service time in December. Despite raking in the minor leagues, he wasn’t called up until May 15th — which assured the Phillies his service clock wouldn’t start until this year.
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