Wander Franco has apparently heard some of the positive chatter around his game. MLB Insider Hector Gomez tweets that Franco fully expects to have $300MM in front of him within four years. Of course, baseball economics make that a somewhat suspect goal, as there’s a decent chance Franco will not be arbitration eligible yet in that timespan, and even if he were, the largest contract given out by the Rays is the six-year, $100MM deal given to Evan Longoria. It’s hard to imagine them tripling that high overnight. And yet, if there were a guy to prompt such spending, Franco might be the one. The Rays’ 19-year-old shortstop has a hit tool that scouts are raving about in no uncertain terms. The youngster hit an absurd .318/.390/.506 in Single A last season against competition an average of more than 3 years his elder. Franco’s on-field performance thus far certainly merits bawdy talk, and in an open market, there’s no telling how much Franco might earn today. While Franco’s stock continues to appreciate, let’s check in elsewhere around the league…

  • Former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has been vocal about his desire to get back into a major league clubhouse. He hasn’t gotten much traction, however, despite efforts on his part to dispel certain assumptions about his managerial style. Gibbons doesn’t agree with his reputation around the league, which considers him an old-school type, non-adept with analytics and better-suited to a veteran clubhouse. He had reached out to a number of teams with openings this offseason, but couldn’t even secure himself an interview. Not until the Astros’ position became available, writes The Star’s Gregor Chisholm. The role ultimately went to Dusty Baker, returning Gibbons to his current role as a scout for the Braves. Gibbons will continue to reach out to clubs with managerial openings.
  • Drew Storen has been through a lot in his baseball life, from an undefeated high school season alongside teammate Lance Lynn, to anchoring the bullpen on early Nats contenders that featured a young Bryce Harper, to Tommy John surgery in 2017 that stuck his career in the mud, writes Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. While in camp with the Phillies this spring, Storen had a couple of major takeaways. First was how much he enjoyed playing the game. Second was how much Harper has grown as a leader since his early days with the Nats. And third was that Storen actually had a pretty decent chance of making the team. Being released by the Royals last June lit a fire for Storen, reminding him the type of urgency and intention it would take to return to the big leagues. He went to work at Driveline in an effort to build his arm enough to make a major league bullpen. Storen looked good this spring, with a 3.60 ERA over 5 innings with 5 strikeouts and zero walks.

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