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July 26, 2019

MLB trade rumors: Could Maikel Franco be on his way out?

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Maikel-Franco_072619_usat Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco.

On Friday night the Phillies start an all-important series with the Braves. Not only do the Phillies have a chance to significantly cut into Atlanta's National League East lead, but they also have a chance to solidify themselves as buyers heading into next week's trade deadline.

The Phillies (54-48) currently sit 5.5 games out in the division, with the aforementioned Braves and Nationals ahead of them. They're also one game back in the wild card standings behind Washington, St. Louis and Chicago, all of whom are tied with identical 55-47 records. 

We've covered the players Philly might be interested in adding quite a bit in this run up to the deadline, but we haven't really looked at which players the team might trade away in order to bring those guys in. There are the top prospects like Adam Haseley, who is already with the Phillies, Mickey Moniak and Adonis Medina, among many others. 

And then there are the current major leaguers, some of whom could be on the move if the Phillies play well against Atlanta and decide to get extra aggressive. One name that has popped up in the past, including during the offseason, was Cesar Hernandez. Moving Hernandez would allow Scott Kingery to take over his natural position at second base. 

But according to one NL executive, the Phillies could be shopping third baseman Maikel Franco, something they've apparently been doing for years now. Here's more on the Phillies from MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, who recently broke down each NL East team in terms of what they need, what they might give up, and what they can realistically get: 

What they need: "What the Phillies need is a direction. They need starting pitching. They need some relievers, because none of them can seem to stay healthy. They need an outfielder. Across the infield, they're OK." -- AL scout

Who they might move: "It's possible they could look to move Major League pieces. They keep changing their mind on Maikel Franco , for example, but they've talked about Franco for bullpen help a whole bunch of times for a couple of years now." -- NL executive

What they can get: "In some ways, it would make sense for them to go all-in for a dude who has control. Matthew Boyd would make sense, but the Tigers have been asking for an insane amount in return. Madison Bumgarner would have been a good answer, but the Giants are good all of the sudden. I saw a report that they were attached to Zack Greinke. I know he's kind of a different guy and might not enjoy Philadelphia that much, but that would work. They need a name, because Jake Arrieta just hasn't been enough." -- AL scout  [MLB.com]

Moving Franco, in a way, could accomplish the same thing as moving Hernandez. With an opening at third, Hernandez could move there and still free up second base for Kingery. Of course, that would leave a glaring hole in the outfield — hey, we never said this was going to be easy for Matt Klentak and the Phillies — where the Phillies are already in need of help. And we haven't even mentioned the pitching (which has actually been pretty solid lately but is definitely still in need of an upgrade).

In the meantime, follow all the latest news and rumors surrounding the Phillies right here in our live MLB trade deadline tracker:


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