Maikel Franco has played decently for the Kansas City Royals in 2020 and the organization should look to re-sign him for the 2021 season.
The 2020 MLB regular season is coming to an end and the Kansas City Royals need a miracle to make the postseason. That means it’s time to start looking toward next season.
There will be several no brainer decisions for Dayton Moore to make, but there are still a few that will be tough to make that will impact the future success of the franchise to get to the next level during the rebuild.
With a collection of young outfielders emerging as well as the trade that brought Edward Olivares to Kansas City, it is evident that the Royals will most likely not extend an offer to Alex Gordon and move on from Bubba Starling. The future of the Royals outfield appears to be moving in a direction of speed fueled by younger players like Olivares and possibly Nick Heath. Look for Whit Merrifield to remain in the outfield for the 2021 season.
It’s the infield that is going to force Dayton Moore to make his biggest decision. What do they do at third base? The Royals took a low-risk gamble when they signed Maikel Franco this past offseason to a one-year $2.95 million contract that included an additional $1.05 million in performance bonuses.
With only 10 games left in the shortened season, Franco has been very productive when compared to others third basemen in the AL. His .281 batting average (as of this writing) is the fourth best average among those at third in the league. Combine that with his 7 homers and 31 RBIs and Franco’s numbers are worthy of placing him among the best at that position this season.
Going into the offseason, it will be hard for Dayton Moore to not consider offering another contract to a player that would be 28 when the 2021 season starts, especially in a lineup that has only scored 203 runs, placing them only ahead of the Indians and the Rangers in that team statistic within the AL.
Defensively Franco has been right around average. He has committed 6 errors and has a fielding percentage of .942 in 102 total chances.
With all of these factors combined without really anyone else in the Royals system ready to immediately produce at the Major League level, it just simply makes sense to find a way to keep Franco in Kansas City.
With Dozier’s ability to possibly take first base full time and a free agent “third base tree” that really appears empty, Moore would be best fit trying to get Franco back for one more season. He would once again be a low-risk gamble that the team could easily depend on for production in the middle of the lineup.
If the Royals decide to bring him back next season and he has the same production numbers over a 162 game season, there is a good chance that they might find themselves within reach come September of the Wild Card.
Third base hasn’t been an issue offensively this season, as it’s been other positions that need to be addressed this offseason. The nice part is those positions might have solutions within the organization with younger players in the farm system. This makes it much easier to overcome these deficiencies instead of taking a gamble on an overpaid free agent.
It seems like when the Kansas City Royals sign a free agent that it never works out. It seems like they pay too much and don’t get the results in return. The nice part is the Royals can avoid that by simply trying to lock in Maikel Franco for another year.