Friday, July 10, 2009

Omar Calls For Reinforcements

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.

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