The affable and ever lovable Jeff Francoeur cashed in on his personality, smile, and whatever other intangibles a player of his caliber brings to the clubhouse. The player most of New York loved ‘just because’ will be playing for the Kansas City Royals in 2011 for a price that seems well above what his numbers would dictate.
MLB.com reports that the deal includes a mutual $4 million option for 2012. Frenchy joins the likes of Rod Barajas and Hisanori Takahashi as the latest ex-Met to get what, on the surface, appears to be an above-market contract offer for a player who most viewed as a fourth outfielder heading into 2011.
As such, the move does not seem to be too popular in K.C. as fans and bloggers lash out at their GM, Dayton Moore:
Look, Dayton Moore makes bad moves. His understanding of the game is outmoded when it comes to building a Major League roster, especially when you factor in the budget……….
This is the Bloomquist situation all over again. It would be one thing if Francoeur had superficially inflated batting averages. He doesn’t. In 3443 career plate appearances his career batting average is .268. Overall, his BA/OBP/SLG line is an-even-smaller-than-you’d-expect .268/.310/.425. Generally, when you project a player’s immediate future, you look at the last three years as being the most relevant. In the last three seasons, in 1783 PAs, Francoeur has hit .256/.301/.389.
Those are appalling numbers. Appalling. Francoeur’s horrible approach at the plate doesn’t just erode his ability to walk, it hurts his ability to… you know, hit the ball hard. In the last three seasons, Francoeur has been worse than Mark Teahen‘s career numbers, worse than Scotty Pods, and worse than Jose Guillen‘s Royal Era performance. Guillen “hit” .256/.308/.420 as a Royal. Compared to Francoeur, Mark Teahen is a team defining quality utility man ala Mark McLemore. Compared to Francoeur, Scott Podsednik is an on-base machine in the mold of Rickey Henderson. Compared to Francoeur… Jose Guillen is slightly more attractive at the plate.”
Alright, we’ve made the jump. Time to stop beating around the bush. Who else would pay good money for Jeff Francoeur??? As the weak side of a platoon he’s an acceptable option, but are outfielders that can put up an .800 OPS against lefties really that hard to find? Worth squandering one’s scarce resources on? What’s more, every indication is that Frenchy will be an everyday player. This is an acquisition that shifts the balance of power in the (bottom of) the division by signaling that KC is going to get worse, not better.”
I’m not surprised the Royals took a chance on Francoeur (the lovefest was brewing since last season) but it does appear as though they’re going to be paying him to start and be an everyday player while most felt a platoon role would suit the new face of KC best (Frenchy hit only .231 vs. righties last year while toting a .300 avg against lefties). Playing time is what Frenchy wanted but what few thought he would get. Dayton Moore, however, had other ideas.
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