Give Francoeur credit: He did OK in his second Braves stint

Atlanta Braves players including Jeff Francoeur, center, watch the final moments of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Atlanta. Washington won 11-9. (AP Photo/John Amis)

He’s gone again, but he might be back again. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Back in February, I wasn’t sure Jeff Francoeur would make the Atlanta Braves’ 25-man roster. Full credit to him: He made it, and he wasn’t nearly the worst of the 25. He did what the Braves, this time around, hired him to do. He played on a semi-regular basis and added a bit of value.

Francoeur leaves for the Miami Marlins with a WAR (wins above replacement) value of 0.5. If that doesn’t sound like much, consider his Baseball-Reference WAR over the past four seasons: Minus-2.5 with Kansas City in 2012; minus-1.4 with K.C. and San Francisco in 2013; minus-0.2 for 10 games with San Diego in 2014 and minus-1.1 last season with Philadelphia.

Also consider this: Francoeur’s 0.5 tied him for sixth with Anthony Recker among Braves position players. (Top five: Freeman, Inciarte, Markakis, Mallex, Jace.) Put another way, the guy signed to a minor-league contract wasn’t half as bad as Erick Aybar or A.J. Pierzynski.

As much as we like to remember the Frenchy of 2005 or 2007, he hasn’t been that guy for a long time. His career WAR after his first three seasons was 6.9; his career WAR today is 6.1. He’s about to start work for his ninth organization. At age 32, he has been employed by 30 percent of MLB’s franchises.

The Braves didn’t land any big-name prospects in the three-way trade for Francoeur, not that you’d expect a windfall for a journeyman rental. They got Dylan Moore, an infielder taken by the Rangers in Round 7 of the 2015 draft, and Matt Foley, a catcher taken by Miami in the 40th (and final) round last year. It was a bit surprising that the Braves sent an international bonus pool slot — No. 93, if you keep track of such things — to Texas in the transaction. As we know, the Braves cringe at the thought of ceding any opportunity to add anything.

Maybe Moore and/or Foley will amount to something. That’s why you make such a deal: You’re hoping the young guys you get for the older guy you’re selling give you a little something down the road. Francoeur gave the Braves a little something for five months, and it would be no shock if they tried to do a Kelly Johnson with him — re-sign him over the winter after trading him in midseason.

Teams like having Francouer around, which is why so many of them have. He’s no longer a good enough player to be indispensable to any club, but over the past five months he showed he still has some use. If that sounds like faint praise … well, it is. But it’s still praise.

Super fun reading:

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Advice for the Braves from Dayton Moore and Pat Gillick: Stay strong, keep going.

Andruw Jones belongs in a bigger Hall of Fame. (Meaning Cooperstown.)

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Reader Comments 0

8 comments
TOJacket
TOJacket

Here we go!.....Bradley, start your crusade for the firing of DQ. It is going to be a long....long season.....see if you can get Blank fired too?

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

It doesn't sound like faint praise so much as it sounds like you didn't have anything else to blog about today. And enough with the WAR crap, already. It's a BS statistical measurement.

Rickster_
Rickster_

I still think they never should have signed Frenchy.  There HAD to be someone better out there.

Stinger2
Stinger2

He seemed to be a good fit in the Braves clubhouse. I would like to see him back next year if he can be of some value.  

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

Since last year, say start with the Heyward trade, how many personnel transactions have the obsessed duo Coppy and Harty made?  


If making transactions were getting tattoos,  both those fellas are Dennis Rodman.


I have no specific quarrel with this one - after awhile you become immune.   It's just another case where one of the few,  the recognized, on the MLB roster is traded for more prospects.  


Good luck to Francoeur.




RonMexico
RonMexico

Bring him back next year on another minor-league deal, and keep him around for as long as there's a roster spot available for him. After that, encourage him to retire and then offer him a gig in Gwinnett learning to become a coach/manager.

Pulpwood
Pulpwood

I assume that in addition to catching, Matt Foley will act as motivational speaker.