Cue the band, here comes the Mets' bigtime acquisition to save the season.
Amazingly, for this white knight, they only had to give up Ryan Church--mere peanuts, right? Thus far this season he's gone .280/.332/.375 in limited playing time, which is good for a .310 wOBA--below his career average of .342. That makes him a slightly below average player, though his defense adds some value, with single digit positive UZR/150 for both this season and for his career. In terms of Fangraphs' value delivered, his last two seasons he's created $11.7MM and $7.1MM, and has a decidedly meh $1.7MM thus far this year.
So, the cost isn't particularly big--and as MLB reported, it's a straight up swap. Except, the player coming back is Jeff Franceour, he of the .282 OBP. Let that OBP number really sink in for a moment.
But of course, Francouer is known for being a strong defensive player, right? As recently as 2007, he put up a 17.1 UZR/150 in RF over the course of the season, and his career average is 7.7. Except last year he was good for -4.9 UZR/150, and this year it's -1.5 so far. Other than being 25 and having a strong arm, it doesn't look like there's any upside whatsoever for Franceour. In terms of Fangraphs' value created, here's what his last three years look like:
In 2007: $14.1 million (great)
2008: -$5.7 million (yikes)
2009: -$2.6 million (so far)
Numerically, it looks pretty clear that any number of cheaply available RF are better players than Frenchy, among them Ryan Church. This is a rough sell to the fanbase, as well--it neither helps now, or in the future. I suppose that the bright side is they didn't give up any prospects in the deal?
My main question: why didn't the Mets go get Eric Hinske, if they were so determined to give in to Jerry Manuel's dislike of Church?
I was also astounded to find out that Jeff Francoeur has a website of his own.