While the SF Giants added a few intriguing prospects to the 40-man roster on Friday, one hurler found a new home.
Enderson Franco pitched briefly with the SF Giants down the stretch in 2019, but he will pitch for a different Giants organization in 2021:
#KBO signing: Lotte Giants have acquired RHP Enderson Franco at $500,000, one year deal… ($245,000 salary, $55,000 signing bonus, incentives up to $200,000). They’re also trying to bring back RHP Dan Straily. SS Dixon Machado has already re-signed.
— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) November 20, 2020
Franco, originally signed as an international free agent by the Houston Astros in 2009, made his way to the SF Giants as a minor league free agent in 2019 after bouncing around the minor-league circuit.
With the Giants Triple-A affiliate, the right-handed hurler appeared in 26 games, including 22 starts, and registered a 6-5 record with a 5.97 ERA.
The ERA may seem a little high, but the Pacific Coast League was a brutal environment for pitchers in 2019, so numbers like that were relatively normal.
Franco earned a promotion to the big league roster in September of 2019. He appeared in five games where he posted a 3.38 ERA (4.71 FIP), 0.938 WHIP, and four strikeouts across 5.1 frames.
His audition was brief, but he did flash a fastball that sat comfortably in the mid-90’s, so the Giants kept him on the 40-man roster throughout the 2020 offseason. Though, the Giants outrighted the 27-year-old off of the 40-man roster before the 2020 season got underway.
Despite this, he remained with the organization throughout the 2020 season and became a free agent once the offseason began.
After getting a taste of major league baseball, Franco is looking to refine his skillet with, perhaps, another shot of playing for another major league club down the road. Darin Ruf is one example of a player who spent considerable time in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) before returning to the major leagues and carving out a nice role.
Given that Franco has worked primarily as a starter throughout his professional career, it stands to reason that he will work out of the Giants rotation in 2021. Best wishes to the former SF Giants hurler as he takes the next step in his career.