Tests on Wander Franco’s biceps and shoulder area didn’t reveal any structural damage, the Rays told reporters (including MLB.com’s Juan Toribio). The star prospect was brought back to the United States from the Dominican Winter League due to soreness and inflammation, though all signs point to Franco being ready to roll for Spring Training. As a precaution, Franco won’t play in any more DWL games.
Widely regarded as the sport’s top prospect, Franco doesn’t turn 20 years old until March and hasn’t played any organized minor league ball above the high-A level. That said, Rays evaluators did get a first-hand look at Franco at the club’s alternate training site during the season, and it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Franco make his Major League debut before 2021 is through.
More from Tampa Bay….
- Blake Snell considered his inclusion in recent trade rumors to be “a little surprising,” even though the southpaw told the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin that he figured he would eventually be dealt before his five-year, $50MM extension (that runs through the 2023 season) was up. “I know we thought our time was going to be these next three years,” Snell said. “But maybe they feel with what happened with COVID and how they have to spend money, they probably have to hold back a little bit for whatever reason.” $39MM is still owed to Snell over the final three years of his deal, which may be too steep for a Rays organization that rarely spends even in the best of times, and was further hampered by revenue losses and a lack of revenue-sharing funds in 2020. It remains to be seen if another team will come up what is sure to be a high asking price for Snell’s services, but he is preparing himself should a trade emerge relatively soon: “I’m aware it’s going to happen at some point, so I’m ready for whenever that point is. I just hope it’s a couple years away from now, because I love it here.”
- Also from Topkin’s piece, he writes that the Rays had interest in a reunion with right-hander Jake Faria, but Faria will be signing with another team. Faria was released by the Brewers in September. A 10th round pick for Tampa Bay in the 2011 draft, Faria posted some solid numbers throughout his minor league career and then had an impressive rookie season in 2017, with a 3.43 ERA, 2.71 K/BB rate, and 8.7 K/9 over 86 2/3 innings (starting 14 of 16 games). He couldn’t continue that form beyond 2017, however, and Faria was traded to the Brewers in a straight-up swap for Jesus Aguilar in July 2019. After being hit hard in 8 2/3 frames that season, Faria didn’t pitch for Milwaukee at the MLB level in 2020.