It goes without saying that Jeff Francoeur has pretty much worn out his welcome in New York. He is hitting a paltry .253, can’t run all that well, or play other positions. Also, with the return of Carlos Beltran to the Mets lineup, New York is rather deep in outfield talent.

The Mets have Carlos Beltran in center and Jason Bay in left. Right now, Angel Pagan and Francoeur are platooning in right, though the two have comparable OPS stats when facing lefties (.695 for Pagan vs. .737 for Francoeur). As a result, the platoon looks like it will be Pagan mostly playing, rather than anything split.

This leads to one question: What do the Mets do with Jeff Francoeur?

Releasing him is an option that is starting to gain steam. Matt Meyers of ESPN wrote, “Francoeur is still running on the fumes of his former potential, but it’s time to realize that he is what he is: A 26-year-old plodding outfielder with a great arm who is capable of hitting some singles when a lefty is on the mound. Does that sound like a player who can help a team in the midst of a nip-and-tuck playoff race?”

Harsh words, but when you look at his stats, they are not what you expect to get from a right fielder. Since June 1, he has hit .265 with three home runs and 15 RBI. They’re not terrible numbers, but where did the 100 RBI player from Atlanta go?

It goes without saying, at least to me, that Pagan is the outfielder to hold on to as the playoff race thickens, not Francoeur. However, I don’t think his stats are so horrendous that an outright release is necessary.

If he was put on the trading block, then there might be a suitor or two. The Red Sox have enough injuries to their outfield that having Francoeur just as insurance could help then keep pace in the AL East. The Giants may take a flier on him, as they could use an outfielder. They signed Dontrelle Willis, so I wouldn’t put it past them.

Beyond that, I can’t think of all that many teams who would want him. He’s only 26, so there is always the chance that he returns to his old form. The Mets also have Jesus Feliciano, who’s playing quite well and is proving to be a much better option due to his versatility.

The only thing the Mets can be glad about, perhaps, is that the person they traded to get him last year, Ryan Church, is hitting .186 and playing even worse.

I do not see Francoeur being in a Mets uniform in 2011 though, in any case. What’s your take? Should the Mets give up and release him? Should they trade him to salvage any value they can? If there are teams looking at Kerry Wood and Dontrelle Willis, there will be some looking at Francoeur, so it’s worth a shot to me.

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