Mets target Maikel Franco finalizing deal with Orioles: report

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Maikel Franco making a throw from third base in Royals uniform close crop
Maikel Franco making a throw from third base in Royals uniform close crop

Mets target Maikel Franco is finalizing a deal with the Baltimore Orioles, reports Joe Trezza of MLB.com.

Franco, a 28-year-old third baseman, hit .278/.321/.457 with eight home runs in 60 games in 2020 for the Kansas City Royals and is a career .252/.304/.433 hitter in seven seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and Royals.

Throughout the offseason, Mets president Sandy Alderson and acting GM Zack Scott have been reluctant to commit to J.D. Davis as the starter at third base.

If signed, Franco -- a mediocre defender at third but a much better one than Davis -- could've pushed for playing time at third base. He also would've given a boost to the bench, with Jose Martinez out roughly four months due to a torn meniscus.

If the Mets are not comfortable going with Davis as the regular at third base, an in-house option is Luis Guillorme

The Mets have a shade over $16 million to play with before reaching the $210 million luxury tax threshold for 2021, so they would have been able to easily sign Franco (who made just under $3 million last season) without going over.