The Jeff Francoeur and Ryan Church trade that the Mets and the Braves completed last night caught a lot of people by surprise, including the players themselves. Below are some reactions and quotes from around the baseball world.
FanHouse tells us this about the trade:
One scout who specializes in the National League called it a win for the Braves, noting that Atlanta seemed unlikely to tender Francoeur a contract after the season, effectively releasing him.
I think everyone, even Francoeur, knew that was the reality. FanHouse also tells us something jaw dropping about how bad Francoeur is:
Francoeur has walked in just 4.8 percent of his career plate appearances with a .308 on-base percentage – the lowest ever of any primarily corner outfielder with 2,500 plate appearances.
I knew he was bad, but the worst every! Wow. Rob Neyer passes along these notes on the trade:
Since coming off the DL in early June, Church's line is .290/.336/.402 ... far from good for a corner outfielder, but decent enough compared to most of the Mets' other outfielders ... and of course a far sight prettier than Francoeur's .250/.282/.352 line for the season.
Defense? According to UZR, there's little difference between them and Church might actually be better.
Baseball America poses a really good question:
Francouer still possesses excess levels of athleticism, with the potential to hit 30 home runs, but he'll need to refine his approach in order to reach his ceiling. What makes the Mets think they can be more successful in this endeavor than the Braves have been?
Omar Minaya has my favorite quote from this trade:
"This had nothing to do with not liking Ryan Church, but, one thing we like about Francoeur is the amount of games he plays,"
What a completely useless thing to say. Why not just go ahead and add that you like him because he swings at every pitch... because he does.
One of the best quotes about what awaits Francoeur comes from Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog:
Francoeur said by phone that he is fired up to play in New York City. That’s good, because New York will likely either inspire Francoeur, and get him back to the player he once was, or it we will eat him alive, and be the final nail in his coffin.
Unfortunately it will likely be the latter. Cerone also says that Jeff will wear uniform number 12.
Prediction: The Mets will non-tender Francoeur at the end of the year, and he will be signed by the Royals.