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Orioles designate former Phillie Maikel Franco for assignment


This has not been a good week for current and former Phillies third basemen who were once top prospects. Alec Bohm, Baseball America’s No. 28 prospect pre-2020, was demoted Sunday to make room for Rhys Hoskins, who returned from the injured list. Mired in an 18-game losing streak Monday, the last place Orioles DFA’d Baseball America’s No. 17 prospect pre-2014, Maikel Franco, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

Maikel Franco has been designated for assignment by the Orioles. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

After leaving the Phillies following 2019, Franco caught on with the Royals for 2020’s shortened season. There he hit for a .778 OPS with league average defense, playing all 60 games for a rebuilding Royals team.

Coming off his age 27 season, Franco signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with Baltimore prior to the start of the 2021 regular season.

2021 marked not only a drastic decline in salary for Franco, but also a drastic decline in value. His slash line a measly .210/.253/.355, Franco failed to contribute much more than a veteran presence for Baltimore. His defense was not sharp either. Franco had -8 defensive runs saved in just 104 games.

A free agent once again this winter, the path back to the Majors will be arduous for Franco. It’s hard to see a route that does not involve a minor league assignment for a player DFA’d from baseball’s worst team.

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