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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mets - “Acquired” Francoeur

New York Mets - Acquired OF Delta Airlines­® Presents Jeff Francoeur from the Atlanta Braves for OF Ryan Church.

I like trades that are easy to dissect.

Ryan Church is a better baseball player than Jeff Francoeur.  Ryan Church is overwhelmingly likely to always be a better player than Jeff Francoeur.  I am amazed that Dayton Moore only did the second-dumbest thing today.

Ryan Church upgrades the Braves outfield.  Ryan Church increases the chances that the Braves will win the NL East in any season that the team plays Ryan Church at the expense of Jeff Francoeur.

Jeff Francoeur downgrades the Mets outfield.  Jeff Francoeur increases the chance that the Mets will not win the NL East in any season that the team plays Jeff Francoeur at the expense of Ryan Church.  Or possibly a galvanized metal garbage can.  When was the last time your garbage can swung at a slider halfway to Peoria?  Francoeur actually might be good enough to play for the Peoria Chiefs.

If you made a trade this one-sided with your little brother as a child, you parents would instantly negate the trade and send you to your room.  It’s like giving your little brother an empty can of Fanta for his Boba Fett.  Now, Ryan Church isn’t as awesome as Boba Fett, but I don’t have to pay a million dollars to an empty can of Fanta either.  Ryan Church is not a star, but I wouldn’t trade minor-league shortstop David Church for Francoeur either and he’s a player I just made up.

FRANK WREN GO TO YOUR ROOM AND DONT LET ME CATCH YOU PLAYING HALO!


2009 ZIPS Projection - Jeff Francoeur
——————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI   BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   304   32   76 12   2   5   35   12   46   5 .250 .282 .352
Rest-of-Year   286   34   74 15   1   7   36   16   51   2 .259 .305 .390
——————————————————————————————————————
Total       590   66 150 27   3 12   71   28   97   7 .255 .293 .370

Year-to-date totals include minor-league translations, if applicable.

 


2009 ZIPS Projection - Ryan Church
——————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI   BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   232   52   65 16   0   2   22   17   36   6 .280 .332 .375
Rest-of-Year   190   32   52 12   0   6   27   20   43   3 .273 .347 .439
——————————————————————————————————————
Total       422   84 117 28   0   8   49   37   79   9 .277 .339 .404

Year-to-date totals include minor-league translations, if applicable.

  image

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 10, 2009 at 10:25 PM | 149 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Frisco Cali Posted: July 10, 2009 at 10:50 PM (#3249528)
If Church suddenly retires tomorrow, is this still a good trade for the Braves?
   2. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: July 10, 2009 at 10:51 PM (#3249531)
So, I guess I'll mark Szymborski in the "against" column?
   3. RJ in TO Posted: July 10, 2009 at 10:52 PM (#3249533)
If Church suddenly retires tomorrow, is this still a good trade for the Braves?


Yes.
   4. JoeHova Posted: July 10, 2009 at 10:54 PM (#3249544)
This is just unbelievable. Even if the Mets hate Church, why do this?
   5. RJ in TO Posted: July 10, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3249546)
The Mets are actually throwing in cash.


I hope you're kidding about this. Aren't you supposed to pay to get rid of Frenchy?
   6. Morph Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3249559)
I’m finding this whole situation oddly compelling, because it’s so utterly indefensible from the Mets’ standpoint. In a complicated world, we have something here absurdly simple to diagnose. Remember this day.
   7. Raskolnikov Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3249561)
I no longer believe in a just and merciful world.
   8. Banta Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:02 PM (#3249564)
Retired tomorrow? This is a good trade for the Braves if Church died yesterday.

Hilarious, but true.

I wish I died yesterday!
   9. Mister High Standards Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:03 PM (#3249568)
I want to return my tickets. seriously.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:07 PM (#3249574)
Prediction for Francoeur the rest of 2009:

.325/.375/.575

Because the universe likes to #### with us.
   11. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3249577)
Both the Mets acquire Ryan Church and the Mets trade Ryan Church threads have the consensus that the Mets got badly ripped off.
   12. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3249581)
I am so happy!
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:10 PM (#3249585)
Even if the Mets hate Church, why do this?


Because the Mets hate Church.

The funny thing is that as bad as Church has been this year, he's been better than Frenchy. He was better than Frenchy last year. He's been better than Frenchy his whole career. Granted the ages of the two players make it possible that this trade ends up looking bad after the fact.

I suppose it's possible that Frenchy learns the strikezone at some point, but I wouldn't want to be the team that watches him try.
   14. JoeHova Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:16 PM (#3249599)
Prediction for Francoeur the rest of 2009:

.325/.375/.575

Because the universe likes to #### with us.

I suppose it could happen. Who (except Doug Melvin, I guess) could have seen Gabe Kapler's last 2 seasons coming? (2008 and 2009 OPS+: 117 & 118, after being retired for a year and putting up numbers of 75, 85, 77, 65, and 77 during the preceding 5 seasons.) I don't think I would bet on Frenchy doing that though (of course, he already did it once so maybe I shouldn't rule it out).
   15. puck Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:17 PM (#3249603)
The Mets are actually throwing in cash.


Which is it? ESPN and the other thread said the Mets are receiving cash. Though I didn't know the Mets needed it.
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:20 PM (#3249609)
I don't care if Ryan Church is:
a) 8 years old, or
b) 68 years old,

this is still a good trade for the Braves.

UPDATE: Wait a second! Ryan Church was traded to the Mets from Washington for...Lastings Milledge!

There are no two players during the 2009 season that have received disproportionate attention at BBTF than Milledge and Francoeur...and Ryan Church was traded, at different times, for each of them?!

That is f####d up!
   17. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:33 PM (#3249633)
I don't like the deal for the Mets either, but I almost want to see Francoeur light it up for the rest of the season just to make wiseass reviews like this look silly.
   18. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3249635)
Razor Shines says he can fix Francouer in 15 minutes.

EDIT: Sorry, Lassus posted an earlier and more accurate version of this joke in the main thread. (I picked Shines 'cuz his name is awesome & I didn't want to look up who the Mets' hitting coach is.)
   19. robinred Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:46 PM (#3249658)
I don't like the deal for the Mets either, but I almost want to see Francoeur light it up for the rest of the season just to make wiseass reviews like this look silly
.

I don't know that I would go that far, but I did say on the other therad that the reaction to this seems over-the-top-snarky-crazy. I could see it when the Mets traded Kazmir for Zambrano and Peterson made his comically arrogant statement, but not for this.
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:07 AM (#3249695)
I don't like the deal for the Mets either, but I almost want to see Francoeur light it up for the rest of the season just to make wiseass reviews like this look silly.


Francoeur lighting it up for the rest of the season would accomplish no such thing. A trade is either smart at the time it is made, or it is not. If I trade Tim Lincecum for Jeff Suppan and Lincecum suddenly turns into Adam Eaton while Suppan "lights it up" for the rest of the year, it still doesn't make my decision a good one.
   21. PS is probably going to survive his vacation Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:14 AM (#3249711)
It's like when the Reds IBB'd Failcoeur, and got Prado to ground into a double play. It worked, but it was still the wrong move. It's like going all in on 3-7 offsuit.
   22. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:19 AM (#3249717)
Razor Shines says he can fix Francouer in 15 minutes.


I guess the Mets aren't selling genes here.
   23. Mac T Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:20 AM (#3249720)
I think that the part about the money is a misreport. The press release at Braves.com says that the Braves sent money to the Mets.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:20 AM (#3249721)
Jeff Francoeur downgrades the Mets outfield.

And given the current state of the Mets outfield, this was nearly impossible.

Now I have to go find out what Dayton Moore did.
   25. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:39 AM (#3249745)
I don't like the deal for the Mets either, but I almost want to see Francoeur light it up for the rest of the season just to make wiseass reviews like this look silly.

That would make the trade worse since there is no way he'd get cut or benched next year.
   26. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:41 AM (#3249749)
I was thinking the Mets might non-tender Church at the end of the year. If Francoeur is non-tendered, Ibe decidiedly ambivalent about this trade.
   27. Banta Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:42 AM (#3249752)
Bah, Russlan, you're no fun.
   28. Tom (and his broom) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:58 AM (#3249781)
If Francouer is non-tendered will somebody else pick him up?

I can't see anyone this side of Dayton Moore being as stupid as Minaya....
   29. Banta Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:05 AM (#3249794)
Once again, that's the point of why this is a bad trade. Church is moderately useful. Frenchy is barely hanging on at the major league level. You shouldn't have to give up anything for him.

Ok, maybe like Angel Pagan. But that's it.
   30. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:21 AM (#3249821)
Church is moderately useful.

Church was getting killed by lefties this year. The Braves will platoon him with Diaz and I'll bet his numbers will look pretty good by season end.
   31. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:21 AM (#3249824)
I don't know that I would go that far, but I did say on the other therad that the reaction to this seems over-the-top-snarky-crazy. I could see it when the Mets traded Kazmir for Zambrano and Peterson made his comically arrogant statement, but not for this.


Pretty much.
   32. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:27 AM (#3249839)
I wonder if Citifield has guys spooked and is having a mental effect on guys that is making them struggle on the road. Church's not hitting for any power but no one is on the Mets, even the guys who normally do.

Serious question:

Is the 2007 Francoeur, a guy who puts up a 100 OPS+ and averagish defensively a player you want on your team? He is pretty durable. If he could rebound that fair, would you want him on your time.
   33. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:38 AM (#3249863)
I would want him on the Braves, Russlan, because our corner OFs are so terrible. GAnderson seems to be coming around a little, but the real Francoeur is a giant drain on the lineup.
   34. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:43 AM (#3249876)
Given that Church is decent but nothing special, and Francoeur is 5 years younger, I'm going to agree with those who say that the snark is a wee bit over the top. Yes there's a good chance that Francoeur's career goes the way of the Hillenbrand, but as bad as he's been Frenchie has more upside so I don't see this as blindingly stupid. If they'd given up someone with promise, sure, but we've likely already seen the best Church has to offer.
   35. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:46 AM (#3249880)
Am I really this drunk? I'm going to assume I am just so ###### up that I'm imagining this trade.
   36. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:03 AM (#3249890)
as bad as he's been Frenchie has more upside


Who's an example of a guy like Francoeur who actually did turn it around, though? Francoeur is 25, put up an OPS+ of 72 at age 24 and has followed that up with a 68 at age 25. Not everybody gets better from age 25 to age 28, and even if Francoeur does get better, how much better do you think he'll be? Some guys peak early on pure athletic talent and never really "put it all together". If a guy's going to "get it", odds are pretty strong that he's going to get it by the time he's 25.

Two examples of guys who struggled really badly when young and went on to become stars that occurred to me are Sammy Sosa and Roberto Clemente.

Sosa put up an OPS+ of 59 in 338 PAs in 1991. But he was only 22 that year and followed it up with OPS+ numbers of 99, 111, and 127 at ages 23, 24, and 25, by which time he was one year removed from his first All-Star appearance.

Clemente put up an OPS+ of 73 in 475 PAs in 1957. But again, he was 22 years old and by the time he was 25, he was an All-Star with an OPS+ of 121.

I think you (and the Mets) are over-stating the extent to which 25-year-olds still have room for improvement. It would take A LOT of improvement for Jeff Francoeur to become a useful major-league corner outfielder.
   37. Zoppity Zoop Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3249892)
Francoeur means "generous heart," which makes this trade sound like something made in a Christian fantasy league.
   38. Danny Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:10 AM (#3249894)

Who's an example of a guy like Francoeur who actually did turn it around, though?

Garrett Anderson?
   39. Tripon Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:11 AM (#3249895)
The backlash to the backlash that is Jeff Francoeur.

He's not going to turn it around. You're basically asking Francoeur to be a completely different player from the last two years. And if there's anything the last two years shown, he can't change his approach. He's a hacker through and through and nothing is going to change that.
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3249896)
I think if everything breaks right he could be Tony Armas. Over the next 10 years he'd alternate between 85-90 OPS+s and 115-120 OPS+s. The closer he gets to .300 the closer he can get to 120. But without improving his plate discipline, that's about all I'd expect, and that's a player you need to upgrade because he'll kill you in his off years and will be mediocre or a little better in his good years.

An improvement in plate discipline could happen, but I wouldn't want to bet on it.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:16 AM (#3249897)
Dan, can you run a projection on him?
   42. Dr Love Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:18 AM (#3249900)
Dan, can you run a projection on him?


Why? There might be children reading this.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:23 AM (#3249904)
Right now his .225 EqA hits his 10th percentile BP projection (.225 EqA). He's at .250/.282/.352.

10th percentile was .239/.288/.367 (.224 EqA)

50th percentile was .273/.325/.439 (.264 EqA)

For laughs, 90th percentile was .306/.359/.537 (.298 EqA)
   44. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3249905)
Is the 2007 Francoeur, a guy who puts up a 100 OPS+ and averagish defensively a player you want on your team?


A guy like that obviously is worthy of a roster spot, especially if he has a decent platoon split and some power. But it really depends on his role, the price tag, & the team's budget. As a pre-arb. platoon OF / PH that provides some injury depth? Heck yeah. As an arb. eligible starting RF in a otherwise solid lineup who takes up a couple percent of a huge payroll? Yeah, probably.

Right now, though, Francouer's a guy with significant negative VORP downside whose youth isn't much of an asset given his service time. Unless there really is something fixable in his approach, it's just too speculative a bet to give up a consistently decent OF in Church (vs. LHP Church on his career has hit like 2008-2009 Francoeur) for a guy you hope might benefit from a change of scenery or might figure it out. You're not coming out ahead just because you're lighting your cigarettes with ten dollar bills instead of C-notes.
   45. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3249906)
I think this trade signifies that Omar is close to giving up on the season and is looking to the future. But I'm drunk and in a generous mood. I don't know what Omar is thinking.
   46. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:26 AM (#3249907)
.325/.375/.575


Its conceivable that he could hit .325 but he would never add an additional 50 points to his OBP. Maybe .325/.355.

But in reality more like .249/.291
   47. Dr Love Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:28 AM (#3249909)
there's a good chance that Francoeur's career goes the way of the Hillenbrand


They're not really comparable. From 2002 to 2006, Hillenbrand was better than 270/300/450. He obviously wasn't great, but he was much more consistent in his mediocrity. In four full seasons, Francoeur has hit like Hillenbrand once. And Hillenbrand's only season that looks like a normal Francoeur season was his last.
   48. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:32 AM (#3249911)
Garrett Anderson?


Anderson was never as bad as Francoeur has been for the last year-and-a-half. I mean, the general progression is right - Anderson's OPS+ went from 82 at age 24 to 104 by age 27 with a couple of years at 127 and 131 as his peak. But Francoeur's starting at an OPS+ of 71 over 976 PAs over the last two seasons. Even improving that by 22 pts (what Anderson did from age 24 to 27), he's still only at 93, for a SLG-heavy corner outfielder.

I think if everything breaks right he could be Tony Armas.


That's a comp that looks reasonable statistically. Armas was truly, truly terrible at age 24 with an OPS+ of 51 in 1978 and he was legitimately good at ages 26 and 27.

I do agree, though, that's his upside, not his most likely outcome. It's one thing to have a bad season when you're young and bounce back from it and have a decent, perhaps even great, career. But Francoeur's managed to follow up his bad season with one just as bad that makes it far more likely that this is just what his true talent level really is. And I don't think 25 year-olds typically find a new "true-talent" level unless something changes - recovery from injury, LASIK surgery, better PED supplier. I'm not aware of any stories about Francoeur nursing any kind of injuries or anything like that; from what I can tell, he just sucks.
   49. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:35 AM (#3249912)
I think it is more likely that Francoeur's career goes the way of this guy.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/snydeco02.shtml
   50. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:44 AM (#3249916)
Here's an idea of how bad Francoeur has been hitting the last two seasons.

For 2008-09 combined, Jeff Francoeur has a line of .243/.290/.357, OPS+ of 71
For 2008-09 combined, Yuniesky Betancourt has a line of .271/.294/.374, OPS+ of 79
   51. calhounite Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:45 AM (#3249918)
Francouer's main problem is not his hyperaggressive..it's just when he hits the ball, the ball doesn't go anywhere and when he runs, he doesn't go anywhere. Slow. bat and feet.
   52. puck Posted: July 11, 2009 at 03:02 AM (#3249923)
You guys are sullying the memory of Tony Armas. His problem at a similar age was getting playing time, and he had more power.
   53. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 11, 2009 at 03:10 AM (#3249925)
From 2002 to 2006, Hillenbrand was better than 270/300/450. He obviously wasn't great, but he was much more consistent in his mediocrity.

Those seasons were Hillenbrand's Age 26-30. If SheAAA had been in the majors starting at age 21 I doubt his numbers would have been any better than Francoeur's.

Look I'm not saying that Francoeur is likely to even become a guy who's a solid 4th OF. I just think there's room to imagine him becoming a decent regular. And the price of Church is just not very high, so unless he has a Jeff Kent second half of his career, by definition this can't be a historically bad trade. Or if Francoeur continues to post OPSs near 650 and the Mets play him every day for years.

Hell, maybe they'll send him down for a while to try to learn something.
   54. Dr Love Posted: July 11, 2009 at 03:17 AM (#3249929)
I agree that Frenchy can rebound to a servicable bottom of the depth chart player. NYC and Citi Field aren't the ideal place, but that's secondary. And I agree it's not a historically bad trade, but that doesn't mean it's not a monumentally stupid one.

Hell, maybe they'll send him down for a while to try to learn something.


That went over terribly when Atlanta tried it.
   55. billyshears Posted: July 11, 2009 at 03:26 AM (#3249933)
Francoeur is awful, but Church isn't very good. I don't feel especially bad about the Mets losing him. If there is a 1 in 100 chance of Francoeur reaching his potential, giving up Ryan Church isn't a terribly expensive price to pay for that chance.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2009 at 03:30 AM (#3249935)
.325/.375/.575


I thought of this almost immediately.
   57. calhounite Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:26 AM (#3249966)
right so no reason to trade for a waiver wire pickup and Francouer's the proverbial dead man walking non-tenderee.

And Mets gave up a serviceable player.

which means Mets see something in him THIS year

talk about some piss poor player evaluation.
   58. Shock Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:28 AM (#3249968)
Lowest OPS+ by an OF with 2000+ PA through age 25:

Cnt Player            OPS+     PA  From  To
+----+-----------------+----+-----+----+----+
    
1 Vince Coleman       79  2064 1985 1987 
    2 Mike Hershberger    80  2109 1961 1965 
    3 Corey Patterson     81  2335 2000 2005 
    4 Juan Pierre         82  2288 2000 2003 
    5 Brian McRae         83  2122 1990 1993 
    6 Mel Almada          83  2470 1933 1938 
    7 Cliff Heathcote     85  2328 1918 1923 
    8 Rick Manning        87  3227 1975 1980 
    9 Jeff Francoeur      89  2632 2005 2009 
   10 George 
Case         91  2593 1937 1941 


Middle of the line-up bat!

If you limit it to just LF,RF you get:

Cnt Player            OPS+     PA  From  To
+----+-----------------+----+-----+----+----+
    
1 Vince Coleman       79  2064 1985 1987 
    2 Jeff Francoeur      89  2632 2005 2009 
    3 Warren Cromartie    96  2129 1974 1979 
    4 Carl Crawford      103  3574 2002 2007 
    5 Bruce Campbell     105  2206 1930 1935 
    6 Bibb Falk          107  2111 1920 1924 
    7 Joe Vosmik         114  2979 1930 1935 
    8 Harold Baines      116  2766 1980 1984 
    9 Duffy Lewis        117  2410 1910 1913 
   10 Ruben Sierra       118  3856 1986 1991 


Truly a special player.
   59. GM Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:31 AM (#3249972)
Right now, Francoeur's 2010 projection:

271/316/425, OPS+ of 95.


Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think Ryan Church can top that over the course of a full season. If the Braves severely reduced his playing time, I can see him eeking over the OPS+ of 88 he’s posting now, but I’ve yet to see anything that tells me Ryan Church is the full–time player just waiting to be freed that everyone talked themselves into post Milledge trade.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:33 AM (#3249976)
And Mets gave up a serviceable player.

which means Mets see something in him THIS year


I don't think that's necessarily true.

talk about some piss poor player evaluation.


Well, this probably is.
   61. greenback likes millwall Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:34 AM (#3249977)
Nick Stavinoha

Neat, I've been making that comp for a while, except Stavinoha did play college football.

The Mets play in a new stadium in New York, so Madoff or not, burning money shouldn't be an issue. But the notion of Francoeur having upside seems to be based on scouting reports from 2002 when he was 18 years old.
   62. Dr Love Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:35 AM (#3249978)
Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think Ryan Church can top that over the course of a full season.


Maybe not, but Frenchy won't come close to that, it would require a huge leap for him to hit at those rates and he hasn't shown he's remotely capable of it.
   63. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:45 AM (#3249988)
hey're not really comparable. From 2002 to 2006, Hillenbrand was better than 270/300/450. He obviously wasn't great, but he was much more consistent in his mediocrity. In four full seasons, Francoeur has hit like Hillenbrand once. And Hillenbrand's only season that looks like a normal Francoeur season was his last.


That's all true(ish -- the ages don't match up, but point taken) -- but I think the reason Hillenbrand jumps to mind for a lot of people is that he, like Frenchy, seemed to think of himself as something of a star, despite the fact that, in reality, he wasn't much good.
   64. Dr Love Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:01 AM (#3249997)
Yeah I didn't take the ages into account, that's a big overlook on my part. To Hillenbrand's credit though he was an All Star, and on a good Boston team, it wasn't like he was the obligatory Royal or Pirate. One can excuse him a bit for believing he was a star, even though he truly wasn't. Frenchy's reasons for thinking he was hot #### are entirely that he was the local boy with the charming smile.
   65. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:25 AM (#3250001)
Hillenbrand was an AS because:

1) In 2002, he hit .300 with semi-decent power and lots of RBI in April-June.

2) A big chunk of the Sox fan base loved him, partly because he was young and they thought they saw a star in the making, and partly because before he arrived in 2001, they had endured the likes of Wilton Veras, Ed Sprague, Manny Alexander and probably others I don't want to remember at 3B.
   66. Mister High Standards Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:30 AM (#3250003)
Francoeur lighting it up for the rest of the season would accomplish no such thing


i think it would. but your used to being wrong.
   67. Dr Love Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:32 AM (#3250004)
I never said he was a deserving All Star, just that he had reason to believe he was a star player. Something Francoeur didn't have.
   68. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:32 AM (#3250005)
It's going to be interesting to see if Church's power comes back. The batting average and walks have been there but the power has not . I feel the Mets are spooked by Citifield and the only guy who seemed capable of getting that out of his head is Delgado. Of course, when Delgado gets a hold of one, he doesn't care what park he's in.

It's going to be interesting to see if Church slugs more with Atlanta.
   69. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:34 AM (#3250006)
Wilton Veras, Ed Sprague, Manny Alexander and probably others I don't want to remember at 3B


Including the shocking collapse of John Valentin, one of my first lessons in the pitfalls of over-30 players with injury problems and no footspeed.
   70. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:37 AM (#3250007)
Apparently, Church and Manuel didn't get along. I doubt he'll have any such problem in Atlanta.
   71. Raskolnikov Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:41 AM (#3250010)
Maybe it will work out for the best. Right now, there's no way Jerry Manuel returns next year. If the Mets continued to implode, then Omar will be gone as well.

The talent is still there in the organization, but the front office and the manager needs to go.
   72. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:42 AM (#3250011)
Am I the only Met fan that really isn't THAT upset about this?

It may be that I was thinking the Mets should non-tender Church this offseason so I don't mind rolling the dice. It may also be that I think the Mets are too horrible to stay close until the cavalry comes and basically think this is a lost season.
   73. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:45 AM (#3250012)
I never said he was a deserving All Star, just that he had reason to believe he was a star player. Something Francoeur didn't have.

I know Doc. I just hadn't had a chance to ##### about Hillenbrand in a while.
   74. Russell Branyan Penata Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:48 AM (#3250015)
He's leeeeaving on a [Delta] jet plane,
Don't know when he'll be back again...
   75. Raskolnikov Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:54 AM (#3250018)
It may also be that I think the Mets are too horrible to stay close until the cavalry comes and basically think this is a lost season.

I gave up on the season today. This was Omar's shot, and he came up with Francais. Nice.


What do the Mets do?

- Is Sheffield part of 2010?
- Is it time to shut down Beltran for the season?
- Play Fernando in CF for the rest of 2009?
- Play Murphy as much as possible at 1B and then OF?
- Let Reyes and Delgado take their time in returning?
- Let Tatis go, play Evans in the RH reserve role?
- Find out what we have in Nieve, Ollie, and Parnell?
- I doubt anyone will risk claiming Wagner, so try to trade him for a B level prospect when he returns?
- What to do with Putz?

At least the end was short and agonizing. Slow torture would have been too cruel.
   76. 1k5v3L Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:56 AM (#3250019)
"This is a trade that's not only for now, but for next year and beyond, because of the youth of the player and that what he does fits the ballpark," general manager Omar Minaya said.

Well, Frenchy does suck donkey balls, so he'd fit well in that lineup and that ballpark.
   77. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 11, 2009 at 06:09 AM (#3250020)
Well, Frenchy does suck donkey balls, so he'd fit well in that lineup and that ballpark.

At least the Mets have the option of non-tendering their outfielder who is OPSing in the mid-.600s unlike other teams that rushed to sign said player to a long-term contract.
   78. bigglou115 Posted: July 11, 2009 at 06:18 AM (#3250021)
Maybe not, but Frenchy won't come close to that, it would require a huge leap for him to hit at those rates and he hasn't shown he's remotely capable of it.


You say that, but over the last 20 days he's hitting .272. If you assume his walk total remains constant over the rest of the season his OBP would reach .310. Over that same span he's slugging .436. That's almost a month, which even then would be a small sample size, but while most of you guys haven't been watching him I have, almost every game this year. He's seeing more 3 ball counts, he's holding up on 0-2 counts, heck he looks like he might even have a plan at the plate. Over the last month your seeing statistical improvement and in-game correlaries to support it. He starts making contact again the power may come back. Even if it stays at the .430 level he becomes a serviceable outfielder. At the very least its not the huge leap you make it out to be, he was in a similar groove for about 15 games last month before hitting another rough stretch. If he had mantained that performance for the 20 or so games in between or had done either neatly inside a single month so it showed up better in the stat-sheets there wouldn't be near so many people complaining about this one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Frenchy apologist. Matt Diaz has hit over .350 against lefties for 3 years running and Church is still hitting over .300 on the season against righties. Even if Jeff hits his projection he won't top the production of Diaz/Church. I just thought I'd throw that out there in case it might stop anybody's head from exploding.
   79. flournoy Posted: July 11, 2009 at 11:35 AM (#3250040)
You say that, but over the last 20 days he's hitting .272. If you assume his walk total remains constant over the rest of the season his OBP would reach .310. Over that same span he's slugging .436.


This includes his silly three double game on Thursday at Coors Field. How many more games do the Mets have left at Coors?
   80. RollingWave Posted: July 11, 2009 at 11:38 AM (#3250042)
Sheffield still make sense for a AL team to take a flier on for DH. and I guess he can at least stand out there. which is more than what we could say for some other DH.
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 11:48 AM (#3250045)
In fairness to Warren Cromartie, he did develop into a pretty good hitter in Japan.

And Robert Whiting ghosted his autobiography, which is worth a little extra.
   82. Johnny Tuttle Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:26 PM (#3250050)
Even if the post was snarky (And I don't agree: I thought it was quite funny) and even if the universe does mess with us sometimes, this is still bad asset management.

Say I really like Choo in my fantasy league. I think he's a true star and that somehow he'll gain his exemption from his military service. Say my trade for A-Rod hasn't been the boon it was supposed to be this year, and I fear that he's the rule and not the exception on James's age 33 work. I'd still be nuts to make that trade even in a redraft.

If I did it for more than Choo, now we're talking.

Maybe Church isn't much, but really, unless they got all of Frenchy's contract, couldn't they have at least nabbed something cheap, too? A couple of high A live arms?

It just doesn't make sense to go to eBay or Craigslist and offer more than full retail when the list price or current highest bid is 1/20th of that.
   83. 1k5v3L Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:14 PM (#3250066)

At least the Mets have the option of non-tendering their outfielder who is OPSing in the mid-.600s unlike other teams that rushed to sign said player to a long-term contract.
Ha ha. That's what YOU think. But Omar Minaya you ain't.
Frenchy will be your long term savior.
And you'll learn to love him.
   84. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:28 PM (#3250076)
Wow. Dear Mets fans,

I like you guys. You guys know baseball. You're infinitely more passionate about the game for the right reasons than Yankees or Cubs fans. I'm sorry this always has to happen to you.

Go Fish,
T&B;
   85. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:40 PM (#3250081)
Thanks Dan. Can you run a Brock2-style projection for the rest of his career?
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 01:42 PM (#3250083)
Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think Ryan Church can top that over the course of a full season. If the Braves severely reduced his playing time, I can see him eeking over the OPS+ of 88 he’s posting now, but I’ve yet to see anything that tells me Ryan Church is the full–time player just waiting to be freed that everyone talked themselves into post Milledge trade.

Church still has a .784 OPS against righties (.822 career). He's getting eaten up by lefties, who he has to face b/c of the Mets injury issues.

If you put Church in a strict platoon, he's an above average RF. The Braves have the perfect situation for him.
   87. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:04 PM (#3250092)
I’m finding this whole situation oddly compelling, because it’s so utterly indefensible from the Mets’ standpoint. In a complicated world, we have something here absurdly simple to diagnose. Remember this day.

There's always the possibility of Giambi-Mabry II.

If the Mets were planning to release Church at the end of the year or let him walk (they never did seem to like him, did they?), taking a flyer on Francoeur isn't the stupidest thing in the world. They can let him walk at year's end. If your season's in the crapper, might as well try to catch lightning in a bottle.
   88. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:28 PM (#3250107)
Am I the only Met fan that really isn't THAT upset about this?

It may be that I was thinking the Mets should non-tender Church this offseason so I don't mind rolling the dice. It may also be that I think the Mets are too horrible to stay close until the cavalry comes and basically think this is a lost season.


This is also my take on it.

I basically gave up on the team after the Castillo error. So stuff like this is just funny. It makes the team more watchable to me
   89. twon8 Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:53 PM (#3250117)
The only edge over church that Jeff has is health, and just like Omar to overeact.
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3250126)
The only edge over church that Jeff has is health, and just like Omar to overeact.

Health is a negative when you are below replacement level, like Francoeur.
   91. Dr Love Posted: July 11, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3250132)
You say that, but over the last 20 days he's hitting .272. If you assume his walk total remains constant over the rest of the season his OBP would reach .310. Over that same span he's slugging .436. That's almost a month, which even then would be a small sample size, but while most of you guys haven't been watching him I have, almost every game this year


Last thing first, I *have* been watching him all year, and last year too. First thing last, your math is wrong. He's hit .231 in his past 20 days, and drawn *one* walk. And that's not counting yesterday because he wasn't physically available to play, because his last walk was 21 days ago. And if even if I did the math wrong, his 2, 3 and 4 week splits would be:

Last 14 days: 257/278/371
Last 20 days: 272/3??/436
Last 28 days: 266/293/392

So even if your numbers are right, he simply had a great week, which of course anyone can have. He'll go back to swinging at 16 of 19 first pitches in a series real soon.
   92. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3250157)

Francoeur lighting it up for the rest of the season would accomplish no such thing. A trade is either smart at the time it is made, or it is not. If I trade Tim Lincecum for Jeff Suppan and Lincecum suddenly turns into Adam Eaton while Suppan "lights it up" for the rest of the year, it still doesn't make my decision a good one.


That depends. You are correct if you assume that it is impossible for you to have any information or insight that is better than conventional wisdom.
   93. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 11, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3250164)
In a year where Andruw Jones has been productive, I will never say never. The comedy of this trade is just awesome. I'm enjoying it.
   94. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 11, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3250303)
Wow! Look at the Mets fans talking themselves into this trade. You guys deserve Omar.

Yeah, he's young a might turn into Tony Armas. You go with that.
   95. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 11, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3250383)
It's fun to pile on the Mets and their fans for some people so they want to make like this trade is another Black Friday. It isn't. Church just isn't a big enough loss to warrant so much angst and the only way this deal is a problem is if Frenchy is on the team in 2010.

It's not Kazmir-Zambrano II.
   96. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: July 11, 2009 at 09:15 PM (#3250389)
It's not Kazmir-Zambrano II.

No, but it's ill-conceived and pointless and makes one wonder why Minaya would bother.
   97. Swedish Chef Posted: July 11, 2009 at 09:18 PM (#3250393)
It's not Kazmir-Zambrano II.

It's about as stupid but infinitely less costly.
   98. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 11, 2009 at 09:34 PM (#3250403)
No, but it's ill-conceived and pointless and makes one wonder why Minaya would bother.

My guess is that Omar didn't want to trade any real prospects but wanted to make a move, any move, just for change's sake. This is a team that hasn't homered in 66 innings.

Again, this only bothers me if he's on the team in 2010.
   99. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 11, 2009 at 09:36 PM (#3250405)
It's about as stupid

No, it's not.
   100. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: July 11, 2009 at 09:48 PM (#3250411)
I know this sounds ridiculous, but this may have been partially a PR move. There's plenty of baseball fans whose opinion of Francouer was shaped in 2005 and hasn't changed since, despite his performance. Maybe they wanted to bring in a "name", couldn't afford (in cost/talent) any real talent, and settled on Francouer hoping a few thousand NYers would remember him from the '05 playoffs and not the past three years.

But yeah, this trade makes no sense. Glad I'm not a Mets fan.
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