With Maikel Franco currently in the midst of a scorching hot Spring Training, the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly in a hurry to lock up their slugging third-baseman.
According to Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101, the Phillies have offered Franco an extension.
Due to the Phillies waiting to bring Franco up, last season didn't count as a year against his service time because he didn't spend more than 171 days with the major league team. So 2016 will serve as his first year of service time. So, if Franco agreed to a six-year deal, the Phillies would be essentially buying him out of his arbitration years.
From Franco's perspective, agreeing to this deal, one that would pay him just $6.5 million annually, doesn't seem to make a ton of sense. Yes, he could avoid the often ugly arbitration battles that teams goes through with their young stars, and it wouldn't keep him from reaching free-agency when he is 28, but in the meantime, he'd be taking significantly less money than he would get through the arbitration process. It should be noted, though Franco seems on pace to eventually be a Super-2 player, that he currently would be under a team controlled salary for at least the next two seasons. So in that time-frame, he'd be making more on this deal. For the remaining four seasons of arbitration, he'd be taking what seems like a significant discount over what he would get either in arbitration or if he signed an extension at that time.
If Franco's agent looks at Ryan Howard's three-year/$54 million deal that he earned in the final three years of his arbitration, prior to cashing in on an even larger deal, it's hard to see him agreeing to this deal. It's not stupid for the Phillies to offer it, but if Franco sees that Howard got $54 million in 2009, it would probably be in his best interests to see how much the Phillies would pay him in 2019, when you factor in a decade's worth of inflation.
Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) is the Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com, focusing on news and features.