We have the announcement of a trade this afternoon with the Mets sending Ryan Church to Atlanta for Jeff Francoeur and cash. It’s basically a swap of under-performing right fielders. Despite Jerry Manuel’s denials, I think we all knew that Church was in his dog house.
We all know Francoeur, we’ve seen him a million times with Atlanta. He’s got a huge arm in the outfield and decent range. He strikes out a LOT and last season was a nightmare for him and he hasn’t been able to turn it around this season either. He’s 25 years-old and in his fifth big league season. He’s making $3.375 million compared to Church’s $2.8 million. That’s why the Mets are getting cash back.
It sounds like a fair deal to me. It won’t change the fortunes of either team in any big way this season or beyond. Both players weren’t meeting expectations, so maybe a new start will work out for them.
Church never seemed like the same player after he suffered a concussion in Atlanta last May. Until then, he was the most valuable player on the Mets. Then the Mets botched his medical situation and flew him around the country with a concussion. He ended up on the disabled list and has never been the same. I like Church as a player but don’t think he’ll ever have much success hitting lefty pitching.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t give us any indication of the direction that Omar Minaya is taking at the trading deadline either. This move doesn’t really improve the team other than adding a right handed bat to a lefty-heavy lineup.