With rumors swirling regarding Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, the possibility that Philadelphia may move on from their third baseman is becoming more and more real. A possible replacement could be Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, Matt Duffy.
According to the Philadelphia branch of NBC Sports, Maikel Franco is a sure bet to be traded…
“Meanwhile, third baseman Maikel Franco is pretty much a sure bet to be traded, and he knows that. According to sources, there is a deal to be made with San Diego.”
If this is indeed true and Maikel Franco is done in the City of Brotherly Love, they will need to find a replacement, and while Manny Machado may be the front-runner, there is no guarantee that the superstar will sign with them.
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This is where Matt Duffy comes in. The Phillies could acquire Duffy from the Rays to add depth at third and shortstop and even second base. I have no doubt that Duffy could perform well at second. In fact, Duffy could still be the everyday third baseman in Philly, even after they hypothetically sign Machado to play shortstop.
I have made it pretty clear in the past that the Rays should move on from Matt Duffy in favor of Daniel Robertson, and this could be their chance to do so.
In discussions our friends over at That Balls Outa Here, the Phillies FanSided website, they like Matt Duffy and see him as a bona-fide replacement for Franco at third. With the Rays looking to make space on the 40-man roster and add a few coveted prospects, we may just see a trade involving Duffy to Philadelphia today (although it is highly unlikely).
During the discussions of what a mock trade would look like, I looked to make roster space as if this trade were to happen before tonight’s deadline. Even if it doesn’t happen before the deadline, both myself and the writers at That Balls Outa Here agreed that this would be a fair return.
Phillies #23 overall prospect, Connor Seabold, gets the Tampa Bay Rays what they always desire in a trade, young pitching. A third round pick in 2017 out of Cal State Fullerton, Seabold’s fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s with an above average change-up and a curveball that is still developing.
Across two professional seasons, he hasn’t been great, but he hasn’t been bad either. With elite control, he could develop into a back of the rotation starter, or a bulk option down the road.
The Phillies #30, Simon Muzziotti, was signed by the Phillies for $750,000 after MLB declared him a free agent due to signing infractions with Boston. The left-handed outfielder had an average first full season at Single A, hitting .263 (73-278).
Muzziotti has the potential to become an impact player as he develops with a very high ceiling. There is a chance that he comes into more power and could develop into an everyday center fielder given the time to mature.
This isn’t an overwhelming return for Matt Duffy, but it is a fair one. The Rays continue to bolster their farm system with young pitching and up-middle-players while giving Daniel Robertson a chance to play everyday.
As for the Phillies, they give up a possible back-end starter and a center fielder with tremendous upside who still has a lot of room to grow. But, they do get their starting third baseman to fill in Maikel Franco’s hole.
Whether or not Duffy is traded today is to be determined, and even if he isn’t , there is still a good chance he ends up in Philadelphia eventually. I do think he will be traded, I just don’t know when, though it would make sense for them to execute a trade prior to the deadline as they look to create roster space.
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Only time will tell.