Sunday evening was the contract deadline for entertaining slugger Juan Francisco to decide if he wanted to remain with the Tampa Bay Rays, and after not making the Opening Day roster, he's out the door.
It's not a massive blow from a talent perspective, Francisco would have been impressive depth, but neither his contact at the plate or glove on the field were inspiring for the big man.
INF Juan Francisco has opted out of his minor-league deal with #Rays rather than go to Triple-A @DurhamBulls— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 6, 2015
Third and First base are his only home, outside of designated hitter, and traditionally there are not many openings at this stage in the game, but I would imagine he might land with Arizona.
The Diamondbacks sent their prized off-season acquisition Yasmany Tomas to the minors to develop his game at third base, a surprising move in my opinion.
His opt out also creates opportunities in Durham, though not ideal ones. The minor league side will need to get creative to fill third base throughout the season. More importantly, however, may be who backs up Longoria at third:
No surprise Francisco opted out of #rays deal. Who wants to be AAA insurance for Longoria, who played 162 games last year?— Adam Sobsey (@sobsey) April 6, 2015
There isn't an obvious answer, with only Vince Belnome and Jake Elmore around in house, and while Patrick Leonard or Richie Shaffer down in Montgomery could make a mid-season leap if needed, the real answer is likely more of Logan Forsythe.