I just received a text from a solid source stating that the Mets are imminently close to trading Jeff Francoeur. So close in fact, that apparently if the deal is to get done and the I's dotted and t's crossed, it will be consummated while the Mets are on their current West coast trip and completed before this weekend's series with the Dodgers concludes.
As for the "heads up," I've received plenty of them over the years, and this one ranks up there with the strangest I've ever gotten as it did didn't come along with the counter side of the trade?
My first thought was that it's a bit disappointing to see that the Mets are more focused on getting someone off their roster not named Oliver Perez than they are obtaining a front line starting pitcher. However, after thinking about it, perhaps I shouldn't be bashing the Mets.
With Angel Pagan basically assuming the right field duties, Francoeur clearly becomes expendable and is attractive to a contending team; both because of what he brings to the clubhouse, and also his skill set which can be applied effectively as a roll-player.
Francoeur only had a one year $5 million contract for this year with the Mets and there is only about $2 million remaining on it. He's a serviceable offensive player who has the propensity to be streaky, so if a contender picked him up they could catch lightning in a bottle for a week or two every so often. But if it's defense a team is looking for, Jeff is your guy as there is perhaps no better right field defender in the game. In addition to Jeff's ability to track the ball, his Roberto Clemente-like arm can change the outcome of a game.
If he's traded to a non-contender for an expensive player, the trade will simply be part of a salary dump as the team will just let Francoeur's contract expire at the end of the year and relieve themselves of a big contract while assuming Francoeur's smaller one. The question is, who else would the Mets have to give up? After the recent posterior cuff strain injury to Mets prized prospect, Jenrry Mejia, are other teams still interested?
As for the latter scenario, Mets fans are hoping that Mejia and Francoeur are calling real estate agents in Houston looking for apartments and Roy Oswalt is buying a plane ticket to New York. - Paul Leume
Paul is a MLB columnist from Montreal, Canada. Paul, a one-time beat writer covering the Montreal Expos for the Montreal Gazette is a proud grandfather of 3 girls and now spends his time offering his thoughts and prospective on Major League Baseball on a variety of blogs and websites throughout Al Gore's internet.