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Nationals reportedly sign Maikel Franco to MiLB deal


Former Phillies infielder Maikel Franco has reportedly signed a minor-league deal with the Washington Nationals, according to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post.

Teams are permitted to sign players to minor-league contracts during the lockout. Franco will compete for a spot on the Nationals roster during spring training.

Maikel Franco will compete for a job with the Nationals in spring training. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Franco, 29, spent the majority of the 2021 season with the Baltimore Orioles. He slashed .210/.253/.355 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs in 104 games. He was designated for assignment by the Orioles in August and signed a minor-league deal with the Atlanta Braves. He struggled in 35 plate appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Nationals, who are expected to take a step back in 2022, are looking to fill a few spots on their roster with veterans on minor-league deals. They signed Dee Strange-Gordon to a minor-league deal on Saturday, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Carter Kieboom is expected to be the starting third baseman for the Nationals in 2022. Franco could get a few looks as a designated hitter, which could come to the National League permanently in 2022.

A former top prospect, Franco had a .733 OPS in six seasons with Philadelphia. He’ll reunite with former Phillies infielder César Hernández, who signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Washington before the lockout.

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