Royals, Maikel Franco agree to deal

December 19th, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals appear to have finished their search for a cost-efficient third baseman, agreeing to terms with former Phillies infielder .

Sources told that the Royals and Franco are in agreement on a one-year deal that would pay him $2.95 million with $1.05 million in performance bonuses. The Royals have not confirmed the agreement.

Franco, 27, hit 71 home runs from 2016-18 before falling off to 17 home runs and 56 RBIs with a .234 average in ’19.

Franco is expected to become the everyday third baseman for the Royals, which will push Hunter Dozier from the hot corner to right field.

In that scenario, super-utility man Whit Merrifield would become the everyday center fielder. Alex Gordon has not indicated he will come back for the 2020 season, but if he does, he would become the left fielder.

Bubba Starling and Brett Phillips, both of whom are out of options, would become fill-ins in the outfield.

Travis Shaw was also on the Royals' radar before the club signed Franco, according to a source.