Assessing The Ryan Church For Jeff Francoeur Trade…

In a rare occurrence in baseball, two division rivals got together and made a trade. The New York Mets traded OF Ryan Church to the Atlanta Braves for OF Jeff Francoeur. At first glance, this seems like a classic “change of scenery” trade.

The Braves get a guy in Church, who never seemed to fit in with the Mets and it seemed like the Mets were never too fond of him. The way the Mets handled Church’s injuries last year was a joke and Jerry Manuel rather would have started anyone in the OF over Church.

That being said, the Braves are getting a guy who I think can hit .275 with 15-20 HR’s and 70-80 RBI. The Braves need as much offense as they can get, and at this point I think Church is a better offensive player than Jeff Francoeur.

The Mets get a guy in Francouer, who really needed to get out of Atlanta. This had to be a hard trade for Braves GM Frank Wren to make. Francoeur was born in Atlanta, drafted by the Braves, and was supposed to be the new face of the franchise.

Francoeur needed a change of scenery

Francoeur needed a change of scenery

Francouer was well on his way to becoming that franchise player when he hit a combined .276 with 48 HR’s and 208 RBI in 2007 and 2008. However, in 2008 things changed for Francoeur. He hit only .239 with 11 HR, 71 RBI, and a pathetic .294 OBP.

The Mets apparently made this trade for three reasons:

  1. The Mets are hoping that Francouer will turn things around and he just needed a change of scenery. At the age of 25, there is still plenty of time for Francoeur to figure things out.
  2. In the very spacious Citi Field, the Mets needed to start building their team around defense. Mets GM Omar Minaya says of Francoeur “some consider to be the best defensive right-fielder in baseball, and a guy who has a very good arm.”
  3. Francoeur has a clean bill of health. Here is a classic comment from Minaya – “One thing we like about Francoeur is the amount of games he plays.”

A couple of things in regards to Minaya’s comments. I have never heard a GM say he traded for a guy because of the amount of games he plays. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I am guessing 90 percent of the regular OF’s in the majors play in a good amount of games.

Minaya also mentioned something about Francoeur’s defense. Here is something to chew on – Church has actually been a better defensive player than Francoeur the last two years. They both have around a .993 Fielding Percentage the last two years, but Church’s UZR has been 3.9 and 2.8, while Francoeur’s has been -4.7 and 0.6.

Advantage – Church.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, the Braves got better of this deal. The Mets never, ever gave Church a chance and despite being younger, I am not sure if Francoeur can turn it around under a microscope in New York.

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2 Responses to “Assessing The Ryan Church For Jeff Francoeur Trade…”

  1. DOROTHY DAVIS Says:

    yOU ARE SO RIGHT THAT FRENCHY NEEDED TO GET OUT OF ATLANTA. HE WAS FIGHTING ALL THE ADVICE GIVEN TO HIM THERE AND CONTINUED TO HACK AWAY AT THE PLATE. THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE SAID ABOUT BEING TOO AGGRESIVE. HOPEFULLY THE METS WILL BE ABLE TO GET HIM TO LISTEN TO COACH’S ADVICE. A CHANGE OF SCENERY WAS DEFINATELY NEEDED AND HE NEEDS TO GET ALONG WITH HIS COACH’S. AS FOR CHURCH, HE IS A WELCOME SIGHT IN ATLANTA FOR SURE. JUST A HARD PLAYER.

    • Adam Bernacchio Says:

      Thanks for the comment Dorothy,

      I have been hearing a lot of that from people in Atlanta. That Francoeur didn’t take to coaching very well.

      It will be interesting to see if Francoeur responds to the Mets’ coaching. If he doesn’t, his career might be over before he knows it.

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