The search for bench upgrades was likely to continue throughout the spring for the Atlanta Braves and they may be on the verge of adding another candidate. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Atlanta is among the teams interested in former Royals and Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco.
Braves are in the mix for Maikel Franco. Likely to decide today or tomorrow. O’s, Mets among others known.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 12, 2021
Franco spent last season with the Royals where he appeared in all 60 games while hitting .278/.321/.457 with eight home runs and a 106 wRC+. The surface stats aren’t bad but there are some underlying reasons to question them. Per Baseball Savant, Franco’s barrel rate dropped to a career worst 5.8 percent and his average exit velocity was also a career-low 86.7 mph. His .329 WOBA outperformed his .304 XWOBA so some regression should be expected. He has never been regarded as a strong defender either.
Per Heyman, the Orioles and Mets are also in on him so we will have to wait and see if anything actually comes from this.