Tag: Jeff Francoeur

Jeff Francoeur: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent OF

Jeff Francoeur could be back in the bigs for another season after all. 

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Monday the Miami Marlins are interested in adding a right-handed bat with veteran leadership and have considered Francoeur to fill that role.

Since falling off with the Atlanta Braves and eventually being traded in 2009, Francoeur has managed to find gigs to stick around. He knows the National League East well and is one of the most well-liked teammates in the league.

Francoeur played 119 games for the Philadelphia Phillies last season, hitting a much-improved .258 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI. He’s primarily played right field during the latter stages of his career but could fit well in either center or left. 

Francoeur was one of the game’s top prospects a decade ago, coming up as a hometown hero with the Braves, and showed promise as the possible new face of the franchise. As Chipper Jones’ career neared an end, he emerged as a fan favorite—finishing third in the 2005 NL Rookie of the Year voting—but tailed off in his third and fourth seasons, eventually being traded to the New York Mets.

A year later, he was traded again to the Texas Rangers, then signed with the Kansas City Royals for two seasons before eventually being demoted to the minors, where he thought his career might be over.

But the humbling experience, he said, motivated him to a strong season with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, where he batted .294 with 15 home runs in 98 games before the August call-up.

“I played eight and a half years and never thought about going back to the minor leagues,” Francoeur said after being called up in July 2014. “It’s definitely a lot more special this time than the first time. I think the first time I took it for granted.”

His 2014 finish led to a non-roster deal with the Phillies last November, and after a convincing campaign, it looks like he could get bites again this winter. 

The Marlins boast an incredibly young clubhouse and a first-year manager in Don Mattingly. Bringing in Francoeur will cost close to nothing and add an outfielder who’s played under the likes of Bobby Cox, Bruce Bochy and Bud Black—all players’ managers with a track record of leadership.

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Kansas City Royals: Can Jeff Francoeur Really Keep This Up?

As we approach the conclusion of a quarter of the MLB season, there is one player who has surprisingly led the Kansas City RoyalsJeff Francoeur.

His bat in the middle of the lineup and his arm coming from the “French Quarter” in Kansas City has created a buzz among the Royals‘ faithful. 

When Dayton Moore decided to sign Francoeur back in December, the reaction among fans was that the GM paid more than he should have for a one-year wonder, especially because that one year was five or six years ago.

After the first month and a half of the season, the right fielder has statistics that are similar to his rookie year when people were calling him the next great player.Fans are wondering is if he can keep this up for the other three quarters of the season.

The stats can spell it both ways.

His isolated power is 12 points better than he has had at any point in his career for a season, which is coming while playing at a fairly big park in Kauffman Stadium with a somewhat small sample size.

Francoeur has a much higher ground-ball to fly-ball ratio than he ever has before. This could mean a couple different things—either his swing is finding gaps better or he is just getting lucky. This is also while his batting average on balls in play is also higher because he is finding the gaps.

Another interesting thing to look at is how he is hitting different kinds of pitches. This season, Francoeur is hitting fastballs better than he ever has before, which could change once pitchers start figuring out that he likes to swing at the pitch.

An alarming fact is that he is swinging more at pitches outside of the zone and less at pitches inside the zone. While interesting, this strategy could quickly backfire when pitchers adjust to this trend.

Another bad trend is that he is striking out more than ever, which could come back to haunt him.

The stat that really jumps off the page at me is that Francoeur has a astronomically high weighted on-base average, which he sits near the top of the league in. The guy is finding a way to get on base, which is a really good thing.

As a fan of the Royals, I would love to see a good guy like Francoeur continue to lead this team this season. If he will or not is still up in the air, and only time will be able to tell what will happen.      

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Kansas City Royals Keep All Their Talent in the Minors: A Winning Strategy?

“We made it very clear that an area of focus to improve our team this offseason was our outfield. And it became very clear to us that we were going to fill that position with a right-handed bat, somebody that could play defense as well as somebody that could help us offensively and acquire somebody with tremendous leadership ability. With that being said, I am delighted to announce that we’ve signed Jeff Francoeur as our latest addition to the 2011 Kansas City Royals.”

—Royals General Manager “extraordinaire” Dayton Moore at Jeff Francoeur’s Press Conference


If this quote doesn’t tell how bad things have gotten in Kansas City, I don’t know what will. I mean, c’mon! They had a press conference for Jeff Francoeur for peet’s sake! This is all the while the Tigers and White Sox are holding press conferences for big names like Victor Martinez and Adam Dunn.

As I’m sure all you Royals fans already know, Baseball Prospectus has rated the Royals farm system as the best in baseball. Kevin Goldstein said earlier in the offseason that this farm system could be the best ever. How old is this guy, 9? In all seriousness, Reed MacPhail of Fangraphs wrote an interesting article comparing this Royals farm system to that of the 2006 Diamondbacks, which I think is fair.

For those of you who don’t remember, the 2004 Diamondbacks were one of the worst teams in history: They won 51 games.

The 2006 Diamondbacks ended up winning 76 games with limited appearances by the top prospects that made their farm so highly touted. Those prospects were Stephen Drew, Carlos Quentin, Miguel Montero, Chris Young and Conor Jackson. The Diamondbacks went for a more hybrid call-up approach and ended up winning 76 games. All of the prospects I mentioned put together good seasons in 2006 to help the team. Had those players not get called up, the Diamondbacks of 2006 may have looked more like their 2004 counterpart.

This makes one wonder what course would be best for the Royals. No Royals team in recent memory has won as few as 51 games. That’s pretty difficult to do. Here’s the 2011 Royals Projected Lineup:

  • SS Alcides Escobar
  • 2B Mike Aviles
  • 1B Billy Butler
  • RF Jeff Francoeur
  • 3B Wilson Betemit
  • LF Alex Gordon
  • DH Kila Kai’aihue
  • C Jason Kendall
  • CF Lorenzo Cain

Also, we can’t forget about Melky Cabrera as a backup outfielder. While this lineup may not be too hot, the pitching is even worse. Let’s have a look:

  1. Jeff Francis
  2. Luke Hochevar
  3. Kyle Davies
  4. Vin Mazzaro
  5. Bruce Chen
  6. Sean O’Sullivan

Aside from Joakim Soria, the bullpen isn’t too great, either.

I think we know how this 2011 season is starting to look. I don’t see why the Royals shouldn’t bring more of their farm system to the major leagues. I’m sure Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer would be instantly producing more than any Royals position player besides Billy Butler.

As for the pitchers, why not try out Mike Montgomery and John Lamb in the rotation instead of O’Sullivan, Kyle Davies or Bruce Chen? I understand that there are instances of players getting rushed to the majors and not panning out but I believe that if you keep a player in the minors for too long to dominate, they can become stagnant.

In 2007, the Diamondbacks went to NLCS only to lose to the Colorado Rockies. A number of the guys who were part-time players in 2006 became regulars in 2007. Major league experience at an earlier age can definitely help a player mature. If I’m the Royals, I say we let our AAA and AA farm guys play in the majors in 2011 to take the place of replacement level players.

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MLB 2011: Why is Jeff Francouer Still Employed?

Now I know this is ridiculous.  It is, but Jeff Francoeur has been on a consistent downward slope since he started his MLB career with a bang.

Maybe he would not even have a job if the Royals did not decide to throw money his way. 

As I followed Francoeur’s career when he first hit the bigs, I soon began to associate his name with success.  He played well defensively, and he was a middle of the order hitter. 

In his first half season, playing at 21-years-old, he had a slash line of .300/.336/.549.  He followed up that campaign with two moderately successful seasons in 2006 and 2007, belting a combined 48 home runs and driving in 208 runs.  The difference though was his considerable drop in OPS thanks to his dramatic drop in OBP. 

Francoeur still showed signs of power entering the 2008 season, and there was reason to hope for growth.

Hope was soon lost, however, as Francoeur struggled to hit 11 home runs and managed only a .653 OPS. His defensive WAR also dropped to -1.1, proving his disappointment in both aspects of his game.

The next year, the Braves finally had enough and traded the once future star to the division rival New York Mets. 

With the Mets, Francoeur began resemble his 2005 self, but ultimately his numbers declined to .237 average with an OBP below .300 in 2010. After being traded to the Rangers, Francoeur hit .340/.357/.491 in 56 at-bats. 

It’s obvious Francoeur has his fair share of talent.  He is an above average defender with a cannon arm.  I would rather have Francoeur running around in right field than, say, Jose Guillen, but that’s really not saying much (and hey, the Royals had Guillen last year too!). Francoeur simply appears to be a liability at the plate.  The only value he brings is his defense, but even there he has been inconsistent.  Through his career in the big leagues, Francoeur’s defensive WAR has bounced around between -1.2 and 1.7. 

In spite of all of the above information though, Francoeur received a 1-year, $2.5 million deal with the Royals, who are said to be undergoing a youth movement.

It is possible Francoeur could be used in a platoon role in which he plays mainly against lefties.  In his last three seasons Francoeur has hit .281/.326/.418 against left-handed pitchers, but that OBP is a point above the overall league average. 

Francoeur is simply occupying a spot that could be given to a younger player fighting for a chance to prove himself for the future.  The Royals are not built for 2011, they’re built for 2013, possibly 2012.  With that said, the only reason to sign Francoeur would be to fill a void. 

I don’t know if general manager Dayton Moore wants to be competitive this season and try to please the fans or if he really cares what’s best for the organization.  Even if the money can be overcome, rather easily, Francoeur is going to become the next project for the Royals.

Over the last few years, coaches have tried to fix Francoeur’s swing and his plate discipline, but five years into his big league career, it is tough to imagine him suddenly finding his way and becoming a true baseball star. 

In the name Francoeur, I still think of the talent he has demonstrated, but now his name is becoming synonymous with hope.  Nowadays teams are searching for cheap solutions with potential upside.  The Giants found it with Aubrey Huff, the Rays with Carlos Pena and even the A’s with Jack Cust.

The Royals though are wasting a spot in the lineup and in the field with Jeff Francoeur. 

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The Upside of Playing in Kansas City: Why My Jeff Francoeur Glass Is Half-Full

The mid 2000’s was not the most memorable period to be an Atlanta Braves fan.  Coming off of three straight first-round exits in the playoffs, there was an unavoidable thought in the Braves community during the ‘04-05 offseason that Atlanta’s reign of supremacy was nearing an end. 

There wasn’t much sympathy to be found in the baseball community, however.  Atlanta fans had the reputation for being spoiled—although there were many teams that would’ve enjoyed a single postseason appearance, the Braves made it a habit of finding their way to the playoffs year after year due to trademark performances.

But there was a sense that some of these trademarks were coming to an end in the ‘04-05 offseason.  The previous year, Greg Maddux departed Atlanta to return to the Cubs.  A few years prior, Tom Glavine left for the Mets

While Atlanta fans were a bit remorseful about these departures, the organization still had household names associated with it.  There were those that had been with the club since their World Series title in 1995 (e.g. Chipper Jones, John Smoltz and Bobby Cox) and some that had been with the club for a number of playoff appearances, but no World Series titles (e.g. Andruw Jones). 

But the sense of a declining era of dominance was looming—Chipper, Smoltz and Cox weren’t getting any younger.  Andruw Jones was still young, but his future with the club was uncertain.  Thus, many Braves fans were relying on a promising crop of farm products to fill in the gaps. 

One of these farm products was Jeff Francoeur.  After being named the top prospect in the Atlanta organization in 2004, many Braves fans thought that the future of the franchise rested partly in his hands.  Furthermore, with the departure of J.D. Drew in the ’04-05 offseason, there was a hole that needed to be filled in right field. 

Although Raul Mondesi was added to the roster to temporarily fill this gap, Braves fans were expecting to see the debut of Francoeur sometime in the 2005 season.  As expected, Francoeur made his first major league appearance in July of that year.  While more recent Braves fans have become accustomed to seeing hyped-up farm products hit a home run in their first game (e.g. Jordan Schafer and Jason Heyward), Francoeur’s home run in the eight inning of his debut was extremely symbolic.  With it came the confirmation that he would indeed live up to the expectations and carry the franchise back to a dominant state.

As the Braves made a push for another consecutive postseason appearance, Francoeur didn’t slow down.  He finished the 2005 season hitting .300 with 14 HRs and 45 RBIs (274 PAs).  Although Atlanta witnessed another first-round exit in the playoffs that year, there was a sense of optimism amongst the collective Braves community.  There was a new generation of players being ushered in, and Jeff Francoeur (along with Brian McCann) gave the impression that the direction Atlanta was headed in was, in fact, the right one.

The following season, Francoeur continued to deliver.  He finished 2006 hitting .260 with 29 HRs and 103 RBIs, appearing in all 162 regular season games. But there was a growing reputation for how to pitch to the young hitter—don’t throw him anything over the plate, especially not the first pitch. 

Francoeur swung at 52 percent of first pitches in 2006 and at 36 percent of balls out of the strike zone.  This led to an abysmal .293 OBP and only 23 BBs in 686 PAs.  Opposing pitching was quick to identify this trend and routinely forced Francoeur to swing at bad pitches.  To counter this inevitable strategy, Francoeur and then-hitting coach Terry Pendleton made it their number one priority in the ‘06-07 offseason to improve Francoeur’s plate discipline. 

One could argue how effective this approach ultimately was, but in 2007 Francoeur nearly doubled his BBs (42) and added nearly 50 points to his OBP (.338) while still putting up decent run production (19 HRs and 105 RBIs).  Braves fans were reassured time and time again that Francoeur’s plate discipline was a work-in-progress, but he was nonetheless perceived as a free-swinging outfielder who, despite his trigger happiness, would always give you phenomenal defense (Francoeur won the Gold Glove in 2007) and would stay off the disabled list (Francoeur appeared in 370 consecutive games between ’05-08).

The 2008 season made it clear that pitchers were figuring out Francoeur faster than he was.  Francoeur’s numbers dropped in several categories compared to the 2007 season (-8 HRs, -34 RBIs, -.054 BA, -.044 OBP) and he was still swinging at 43 percent of first pitches and at 36 percent of pitches out of the zone.  Trying to spark a flame in Francoeur’s performance, the Braves designated him to a brief stint in the minors during the 2008 season. The optimism for Francoeur was steadily declining, and it was becoming increasingly clear that something drastic had to change in his approach or else the Braves might look to deal.

Sure enough, Francoeur was shipped to the Mets in July of 2009.  I vividly remember hearing the news, feeling disappointed in both the decision to trade and what was given in return (Ryan Church).  I, like many others, was confident that Francoeur would eventually snap of his slump and post numbers more reminiscent of his ’06 and ’07 campaigns.  Nonetheless, Atlanta’s front office felt differently and in four years Francoeur went from representing the future of the franchise to an example of how ambiguous a player’s potential can truly be.

Despite Francoeur’s roster position with a rivaled franchise, I continued to stay optimistic about his abilities.  But as his time with the Mets expanded to the 2010 season, Francoeur proved that old habits die hard.  While fluctuating in and out of everyday duties with the Mets, Francoeur’s low OBP and declining run production were proving to be commonalities rather than exemptions.  As the 2010 season was coming to an end, the Mets shipped Francoeur off to the Rangers, a team that had secured a postseason birth and was looking to add depth to their playoff roster.  Francoeur proceeded to go on a tear that September, batting .340 in 15 games/56 PAs before cooling off in the postseason. 

At the beginning of this offseason, Francoeur’s name wasn’t near the top of many organizations’ targeted free-agent lists.  He was, however, viewed as a potential platoon player in Philadelphia and a potential everyday player in Kansas City.  Francoeur signed a one-year deal with the Royals in early December and will serve as the opening day right fielder for the club.  The question for Royals fans, and for the Braves fans that still cheer him on, is whether he can return to his previous form or if his 2008 mediocrity will prevail.  While there are obviously a number of variables into how 2011 will turn out for Francoeur, I argue that Kansas City may prove to be a catalyst for Francoeur’s career.

The most important thing to consider is the environment in Kansas City.  Realistically, this is the first time in his major league career that Francoeur will be in a situation free of pressure.  During his entire tenure in Atlanta, from the time he made his debut until the day he was traded, there was an overwhelming amount of pressure placed on Francoeur. 

I don’t define this pressure as the expectations that were placed on him immediately—he posted respectable numbers despite the heavy media attention.  There was an entirely different dimension of pressure placed on Francoeur that dealt with his approach to hitting.  Once the new car smell wore off of Francoeur, fans and ownership began questioning whether he could change his approach to hitting to counter the ways pitchers were handling him.  This pressure undoubtedly took a mental toll on Francoeur; he was told to inhibit his natural tendencies in order to work on his OBP. 

While these concerns were never expressed vocally, my impression whenever Francoeur stepped up to the plate was that he was going up there trying to do what the coaches wanted rather than doing what felt natural to him.  I could be entirely wrong, but the stats seem to support this theory.

When Francoeur was traded to New York, Atlanta stated that they wanted him to enjoy the benefits of a new environment.  While it may have been a new environment, it wasn’t necessarily a pressure-free situation.  The media-heavy baseball landscape in New York isn’t forgiving to players’ performances, and one can question whether Francoeur ever felt pressure-free in New York, let alone comfortable.  Even when he was traded to Texas in late 2010, Francoeur was placed into an organization that was pushing for a World Series title.

Therefore, one can make a strong argument that Francoeur has never been in a pressure- or expectation-free environment.  While there will certainly be expectations placed on him in Kansas City, that’s an entirely different component than pressure.  There was no pressure on Francoeur during his early days in Atlanta, only expectations.  The pressure began to set in once his abilities came into question; pressures that have remained with him up until the conclusion of the 2010 season. 

Francoeur made it clear in his inaugural Kansas City press conference that he felt comfortable and excited for the upcoming season.  The smile on his face was one I believed to be genuine and reminiscent of his early days in Atlanta and his hot streak in Texas. 

While certain writers (e.g. Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk) have mocked those of us who wish to evaluate a circumstance based on the presence or absence of a smile, those of us who have followed Francoeur throughout his entire career realize that this smile was largely absent in Atlanta and New York—not just during his cold streaks, but even before the cold streaks began.  Once the pressure began to set in on Francoeur in 2008, that smile began to disappear for long periods at a time.   

Now that Francoeur is in a pressure-free environment and a situation he’s comfortable with, time will tell what he’s still capable of.  I’m not going to give any bold predictions for how I think he’ll perform in 2011, because I honestly don’t know which Jeff Francoeur will show up.  He’s stated numerous times that he’s no longer home-run biased and instead tries to go where the pitch takes him.  Thus, I’m not going to predict that he’ll hit around 30 HRs like he did in 2006. 

It’s also unclear how Kansas City will approach him from the managerial standpoint.  Will they do as Atlanta did and try to work on his plate discipline?  That approach didn’t work out in Atlanta, but who’s to say how it would turn out in Kansas City. 

While I’m not going to give any statistical predictions for Francoeur’s 2011 season, I will state this: he’ll be playing in a pressure-free environment for the first time in many, many years.  Even though his time in New York was meant to serve as a new beginning, I never got that impression.  This is the first time in Francoeur’s career where I truly see a new jersey as a new beginning.  Whether that will translate into better numbers, I can’t say, but I do believe that Kansas City was the best fit for Francoeur and that Royals fans should be optimistic towards their opening day right fielder.

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Kansas City Royals Add Mediocre Outfielders in Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur

For those Kansas City Royal fans who thought the last 15 years were the worst, wait until they get a load of next year. The Royals might have the best farm system in baseball and are gearing up for 2013, but they are officially in bottom-out mode in 2011.

The team GM Dayton Moore is going to field in 2011 will be the worst team in baseball. Outside of Zack Greinke, who will most likely get traded, and Billy Butler and Joakim Soria, this team has zero talent on their roster.

And their recent acquisitions haven’t helped the situation either.

This week, the Royals signed outfielders Jeff Francoeur ($2.5 million) and Melky Cabrera ($1.25 million) to one-year contracts. To sign one free-agent scrub outfielder, who doesn’t walk is tough, but to sign two of them? Well, that’s the equivalent to Chinese water torture.

Both Francoeur and Cabrera are fourth and fifth outfielders on most teams, but will be everyday players with the Royals. Not only will they be everyday players with the Royals, but looking at their depth chart, I could see Francoeur batting in the middle of their lineup.

That’s how bad this team will be in 2011.

Here is their—or I should say my—projected lineup for 2011:

1. Getz, 2B

2. Aviles, 3B

3. Butler, DH

4. Francoeur, RF

5. Ka’aihue, 1B

6. Gordon, LF

7. Cabrera, CF

8. Kendall, C

9. Betancourt, SS

I just threw up in my mouth as I typed out this lineup. I have seen more talent at a strip club in Milwaukee on a Tuesday night than there is in this mess of a lineup.

And don’t get me started on Cabrera. I was quite pleased when he was exposed as a fraud in Atlanta this season. Nothing angered me more than New York Yankee fans walking around with Cabrera jerseys on, telling me how good he was. I felt like I was talking crazy pills.

He was a clown in New York that just so happened to be surrounded by eight All-Stars. Anybody with some sanity would have noticed that Cabrera isn’t a starting-caliber center fielder on a Major League club.

I can only imagine how poor he is going to be surrounded by nobodies in KC.

The Royals are in the bottom-out phase of Moore’s plan, which means they need to sign mediocre veterans to fill out the starting lineup. It’s like when they signed guys like Terrence Long, Reggie Sanders, Jose Lima and Matt Stairs at the end of their careers to start in years past.

It’s going to be at least two years before top prospects like Mike Montgomery, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Tim Melville and Aaron Crow contribute at the Major League level. Until then, there are going to be some more lean years in Kansas City.


You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Kansas City Royals Sign Free Agent Jeff Francoeur: What This Means For KC

Earlier today, the Kansas City Royals made it official that they have indeed signed free agent outfielder Jeff Francoeur.

The team announced that it was a one-year dear that includes an option for 2012, and is still pending a physical.

The signing also puts to rest the rumors about Royals GM Dayton Moore trying to sign Francoeur many times in the past.

Moore also mentioned recently that he was looking into adding a right-handed hitting corner-outfielder, and to him, “Frenchy” fits the bill for this.

With Francoeur now in the mix, this now changes up a lackluster Royals outfield and give the offense a fresh, new bat in the lineup.

He will likely be penciled in as the starting right-fielder for KC in ’11, as Kansas City only has Mitch Maier and Gregor Blanco as the other likely candidates for that position.

Overall, Francoeur is a low-risk, high-return kind of player as he has shown he has power(29 homers in ’06) and can field as well throughout his brief career(he won a gold glove for his efforts on the diamond during the season).

However, he has also been largely an inconsistent hitter throughout his time at the major league level, and has struggled getting on base with a .310 lifetime OBP.

What Franceour really means for the Royals is that they now have a new outfield starter for next season that should be able to contribute to the team immediately.

The big question with him is if he can produce at a level that will impact the club and if he can play well enough to be a long-term answer for the team’s future.

The answer remains to be seen, but we will find out in a matter of months if “Frenchy” still has it.

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Kansas City Royals: Should KC Take a Chance on Jeff Francoeur?

Free agent outfield Jeff Francoeur cleared waivers last earlier this off-season and is expected to get a solid look from multiple teams who could be interested in him.

Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore has reportedly been among the GMs who have expressed interest in the former 2002 first-round pick.

Moore also has a past with Francoeur, as they both came from the Braves organization where Francoeur got his start in the big leagues in 2005 and where Moore used to be a scout and the assistant general manager.

Moore also has a history of overpaying free agents who have a lot of talent but have not lived up to their potential in their time in the majors.

The recent trade of veteran David DeJesus also seems to have opened up the door for a potential Francoeur signing as there seems to be a vacancy on the right side of the Royals’ outfield.

Taking a look at Francoeur’s stats from ’10, he hit .249 with 13 homers and drove in 65 runs runs in a combined 139 games with the Mets and the Rangers.

A further analysis of his stats indicates that he didn’t draw many walks or get on base that much, as he only drew 30 walks in 503 plate appearances and had a remarkably low on-base percentage of .300.

If you compare these numbers to his career numbers, you are looking at a guy with a lifetime average of .268 and a lifetime on-base percentage of .310 to go along with an average of about 17 homers and 78 RBIs a season.

This kind of offensive production would be a major upgrade over anyone else that the Royals currently have on their roster to play this position.

However, these numbers might be somewhat inflated depending on how you look at it, as many believe that Francoeur has his best years behind him already.

“Frenchy,” as many call him, is an above-average outfielder with a .984 career fielding percentage and a Gold Glove for his defensive efforts during the ’07 season.

But is the risk of offering him a solid contract worth the return that you will get from his play?

I would say that it is, considering the Royals’ team needs at this time. They desperately need a new right fielder, which Francoeur could come in and provide from day one.

What is yet to be seen is if Dayton Moore agrees with this assumption as well. Stay tuned.

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It Gets Worse: New York Mets Clubhouse Manager Charlie Samuels Bet on Baseball

As if the Mets have not gone through enough controversy the past few years.

The Mets have had to deal with the Adam Rubin vs. Omar Minaya incident as well as the incident where former VP of player development Tony Bernazard ripped his shirt off and challenged a minor leaguer to a fight.

This year, the Mets have already had to deal with the K-Rod incident in which he fought his girlfriend’s father in the clubhouse. Now, it has come out that the Mets had other issues within their clubhouse.

According to a person familiar with the recent NYPD investigation, Samuels admitted on at least one occasion that he bet on baseball.

It is believed that most of Samuels’ bets were on NFL games, but it is still unnerving to know that he was part of an illegal gambling ring and that he bet on baseball.

Another source close to the investigation said that it is possible that Samuels made unauthorized withdrawals from Mets accounts and then later paid the money back.

There are also questions about Samuels relationships with the Mets players. It was revealed that Samuels received a $50,000 tip from Jeff Francoeur when he was traded to the Rangers.

While this does seem unusual, there have been examples of other players, such as Manny Ramirez, leaving generous tips for clubhouse attendants.

Samuels also reportedly received a Lexus from Mike Piazza after winning a bet with him about how much weight Piazza’s father could lose.

The last incident that has been reported that involved a player featured Francisco Rodriguez. Samuels gave K-Rod a place to stay after he was ordered to stay away from his home following the fight with his girlfriend’s father.

While this very well maybe the case of Samuels being a good friend, one must still be suspicious. Rodriguez has more than enough money to rent a house, apartment or hotel room.

If Samuels bet on the Mets, he was now with the person who had a lot of control over how a close game could end.

There are also reports that Samuels may have gave out inside information about the players to members of the mob.

Samuels, the Mets clubhouse manager and traveling secretary for 27 years, has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the investigation.

This is certainly not the way that the Mets wanted to start the Sandy Alderson era. This will be a black mark on the organization and could be a distraction during the season depending on how long the investigation lasts.

Both current and former players will be questioned and some could be involved in the gambling ring. Hopefully, no players will be indicted when all of the dust settles.

To stay up to date on this and other Mets stories go visit MetsGazette.

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MLB Rumors: 5 Possible Replacements for Philadelphia Phillies Jayson Werth

The Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth becomes a free agent at 12:01 AM ET this Sunday.   

While there is still a chance that Werth may remain in Philadelphia, many doubt that the Phillies will give him the contract that him and his agent Scott Boras are looking for.

Philadelphia’s talented outfielders currently include Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and the young Dominic Brown.  

The problem is that Werth provided a right-handed bat to a lineup that is lefty heavy.  Brown, his likely replacement, bats left-handed as well. 

Ibanez is not getting any younger and it is hard to predict his production next year.   

If the Phillies lose Werth, they need to sign or trade for another right-handed outfielder because Ben Francisco is not the answer.

Here are the best five possible fits for the Philadelphia Phillies if Jayson Werth signs with another team.  

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