KANSAS CITY, MO (December 27, 2019) – The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed third baseman Maikel Franco (pronounced: MY-kehl) to a one-year Major League contract. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Franco, 27, played in 123 games with Philadelphia last season, batting .234 with 17 doubles, 17 homers and 56 RBI. His 19 intentional walks were second most in the Major Leagues, trailing only the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (21). The right-handed hitter got off to a fast start, slugging seven home runs and collecting 25 RBI in his first 30 games (through May 1). During that stretch, he struck out just 12 times, which included a season-best 38 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout (March 31-April 10).
Franco has spent the last six seasons (2014-19) with the Phillies, after making his Major League debut on Sept. 2, 2014. He hit 20+ home runs in three-straight seasons (2016-18), which included a career-high 25 in 2016. Franco totaled 71 roundtrippers in that span, which tied with Javier Báez and Jay Bruce for 18th most in the National League. In 2018, he was the only player to hit 20 or more homers and strike out fewer than 62 times.
A native of Azua, Dominican Republic, Franco was originally signed by Philadelphia as an international free agent on January 13, 2010.
Following today’s transaction, the Royals have 40 players on their Major League reserve list.