Third base has been an issue for the Phillies
It is no secret that third baseman Maikel Franco has struggled this season, but when is it time to give up on him? This season was seen as Franco’s last chance to show the Phillies that he has something to add to the roster.
However, he has not shown much promise. This is not good and with the return of J.P. Crawford, manager Gabe Kapler has told Franco that his playing time would diminish. Meaning that Crawford and Franco will be splitting time as the Phillies’ third baseman.
As you can see from his career stats, Franco has been on a downward slide since the 2015 season. During that season, he had an OPS of .840 which is above league average, but he played just 80 games. With limited at-bats coming his way, it is going to be tough for Franco to show the organization that he is worth having on the roster.
Which third baseman should the Phillies target?
The question that I started this article with has an answer. The answer is now, the Phillies should give up on Franco now. This is because he has not shown any progress toward becoming the player that everyone thought he would be after his terrific 2015 season.
The reason behind this is because of his hitting. He has become too pull happy, and it is causing him to struggle. This means to me, the Phillies need to start looking at a potential trade for a third baseman. There are a couple options for them, but I think Mike Moustakas is the best fit.
Mike Moustakas’ potential impact
Moustakas has been a key part of the Kansas City Royals for the past 7 seasons. Without him, it could be argued that the Royals would not have won the World Series in 2015. During the 2015 season, Moustakas had the best season of his career. He batted .284 with 22 home runs and 82 RBIs. He has also been extremely reliable defensively, averaging about 13 errors per season.
If the Phillies were to trade for Moustakas, it would be an obvious improvement offensively. This is what the Phillies need. They need a player who will actually contribute offensively. Moustakas is that guy, and the Phillies need to trade for him.
Will Moustakas be worth the asking price?
I don’t foresee the Royals asking a lot for Moustakas. He signed a one year deal this past offseason for $6.5 million with a player option for 2019. With this contract and the fact that the Royals are bad this season, I expect them to want prospects. Possibly a position player and a pitcher. There should not even be a conversation to include Sixto Sanchez, the Phillies top pitching prospect.
Finally, the Phillies will need to evaluate how far they can make it this season. If they really feel like they can make a run at the postseason, then Moustakas could be the best option for the Phillies. I would urge on the side of caution for the Phillies however. There is no reason to send prospects away for a guy if the team doesn’t make the postseason.
these players are holding up teams and possible trades with certain clubs
— IB Axelrod 💵 (@incarceratedbob) January 24, 2018
Statistics in this article are from baseball-reference.com
Featured image via Flickr by Robert Vigliotti