Getting ready to head out to the stadium for tonight’s big grudge match: Ryan Church vs. the Mets. (Hah!)
Seriously, I’m curious: When Jeff Francoeur steps to the plate tonight, what will you do? Boo? Cheer? Wonder how this affects Willie Martinez’s plans in Stillwater?
For those of you who chose “boo,” that’s certainly your right as a fan, although I’m not sure the kid deserves it. But I’ve got to be honest: I didn’t really like the trade when general manager Frank Wren made it just before the All-Star break, and I still don’t like it. I still believe Francoeur — for as stubborn as he is taking advice and as much of a head case as some think he has turned into — can turn out to be a pretty special player.
I realize I’m weighing in late on this. But , hey, I was on vacation when the trade was made. And so, well, here we go:
Our scrappy baseball writer and maniacal blogger, David O’Brien, approved of the trade in his blog the other day and asked: Why wouldn’t you trade him?
My response is: Why would you trade him? Because I see only two scenarios in which I think you move Francoeur during the year:
♦ You make a trade for a player who you are pretty sure is going to help you get to the playoffs this season.
♦ You make a trade for a player who you are pretty sure is going to help you get to the playoffs next season.
What evidence is there in his resume that Church can do either?
He’s a fourth outfielder. He’s with his fourth team in six seasons. He’ll be 31 years old in October. We’re way past, “What’s his upside?” We’ve seen what he is: a nice player with a .272 career average and no power. Correct me if I’m wrong: But platoon outfielders with a .272 career average and no power generally are not in short supply, are they?
Francoeur’s problems have been well chronicled. But we’ve seen his upside. You can’t just dismiss what he did in his first two half seasons (394 games): 62 home runs, 84 doubles, 253 RBI, .280 average and a Gold Glove. At worst, why not wait until after the season and deal him then, maybe as part of a multi-player trade you have a better chance to shape your roster for the future (and maybe when more teams could be involved because they are reshaping their’s)?
Until then, at least you would have given Francoeur another half-season to work out his issues. And by the way: at 25, he’s got time to work out those issues.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to tonight ( but no — I won’t cheer or boo). I’m sure Derek Lowe is hoping Francoeur going 4-for-9 in his two games as a Met is an aberration.
My plans: I’ll probably post a column after talking to Francoeur and then update it later. Anybody have a question you want asked (other than: When’s the last time you phoned Rudy Jaramillo?)?