Washington Nationals Sign Veteran Third Baseman

The Washington Nationals have made their second move in two days, as they have signed third baseman Maikel Franco to a minor league contract. Although teams aren't allowed to sign players to major league contracts during the lockout, they are permitted to with minor league deals.

This is a very interesting signing for the Nationals. In the past, Franco showed that he can be a real threat at the plate, as he has three seasons with at least 20 home runs. However, this past campaign with the Baltimore Orioles was a hard one for the 29-year-old. In 104 games, he had 11 home runs, 47 RBIs and a very low .210 batting average. The season before, however, he hit .278 as a member of the Kansas City Royals, so he is capable of hitting for contact.

There is no harm in the Nationals giving Franco a chance. He certainly has a good shot of making their major league roster, as he is still just 29 years old and certainly can bounce back. If he can replicate his past production at the plate, he could be a potential steal of a signing for the Nationals. Yet, if his 2021 campaign is now the norm for him, we likely will not see much of him. 

In 820 career games between the Philadelphia Phillies, Royals and Orioles, he has 121 home runs, 428 RBIs and a .246 batting average. Let's see if he ends up making Washington's roster this season and adds to these totals.

Photo Credit: © Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports