The Brewers have signed utility player Nick Franklin to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league spring training, per a club announcement on Thursday.
The Brewers claimed Franklin off waivers from the Rays last April, and he played in Milwaukee for the first three months of the 2017 season. He was designated for assignment on June 27 and dealt to the Angels, who kept him in the majors for just over a month before designating him for assignment on July 29. He was later outrighted to the minor leagues and spent the rest of the season with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees. Franklin, 26, posted a combined .179/.269/.283 slash line with two homers in 119 plate appearances between Milwaukee and Los Angeles in 2017.
Franklin, who owns a career .214/.285/.360 slash line with 24 homers over 921 big-league plate appearances, will now return to the Brewers organization and compete for a bench spot. The odds will be stacked against him in his quest to make Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster, however, as the team already has a surplus of talented outfielders and has three established infielders in Eric Sogard, Jonathan Villar, and Hernan Perez battling for playing time at second base. While Franklin seems destined to begin 2018 in Triple-A, the fact that he can move all over the field — having played every position except center field and catcher during his five-year major-league career — should help his odds of getting called up in the event of an injury.