By the way, the reaction around the media outlets to the Francouer-Church swap is hilarious.
QUOTE("Buster Olney live on Sportscenter")
Brian Kenny: “We’re talking to Buster here live on SportsCenter, breaking news here in baseball, the Mets make a trade with the Braves, Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur, if I’m hearing that correctly.”
Buster Olney: “Wow!”
BK: “…there’s the shocking reaction. Wh-”
BK: “Why would this trade be made exactly? Church, again, has come back from the concussion, playing fairly well; Francoeur, a guy who had a lot of potential… what’s with this trade?”
Olney: “Well certainly, um, Francoeur had fallen out of favor in Atlanta, the fact that he’s such a free-swinger, uh, in recent days he had been benched by Bobby Cox, they were trying to work him back in. And Ryan Church, uh, eh, em… he can be a productive player, but it seemed like he wasn’t Jerry Manuel’s favorite guy, there’s no question about that. On the face of it, you’d say, Boy, an in-division trade in which the Braves are getting a player, a left-handed hitter, who might be able to help them right away.”
BK: “Not what you’d expect, again, that’s why you’re sounding stunned.”
Olney: “I am stunned! I mean, a lot of people around baseball did not view Francoeur right now as being a guy who had a lot of value; in fact, who could possibly be a non-tender candidate in the offseason unless he really stepped it up and started to hit. And I think there are probably going to be questions about, as he tries to work through his issues with his swing, is New York the best place to have him right now?”
I had to make up some syllables there for Olney trying to transition to his thoughts on Church because he was literally flabbergasted. It was pretty awesome to see, actually.
Footage is attached to this article
, which has these gems in it:
Church was stunned by the deal.
"Shocker. Came out of nowhere," he said outside the Mets clubhouse. "The good thing is I get to play these guys next week."
New York opens the second half at Turner Field on July 16. Church immediately sent Chipper Jones a text message.
"They're going to have to change up a lot of signs. I know everything," Church said. "I'll definitely fill them in."
Wow. Church must really have worn out his welcome with the Mets. Since coming off the DL in early June, Church's line is .290/.336/.402 ... far from good for a corner outfielder, but decent enough compared to most of the Mets' other outfielders ... and of course a far sight prettier than Francoeur's .250/.282/.352 line for the season.
Defense? According to UZR, there's little difference between them and Church might actually be better.
Handedness? With Fernando Tatis and Gary Sheffield, the Mets already had two righty-hitting corner outfielders; now they've got three.
So, let's review: The Braves got a decent hitter and fielder who bats left-handed, and thus can platoon (or semi-platoon) with Matt Diaz in right field. The Mets got ... what, exactly? If you figure it out, drop a line to Jerry Manuel. He's going to need all the help he can get with this one.
Update: Awesome quote from Omar Minaya: "One thing we like about Francoeur is the amount of games that he plays."
QUOTE("Beyond the Boxscore")
Braves Steal From Mets, Clear and Simple
This will be the last full sentence of the article.
Fielding (Career UZR/150 in LF/CF/RF, CHONE RF 2009 Projection)
Jeff Francoeur: --/--/+8, -1 run
Ryan Church: +4/+1/+10, +5 runs
Hitting (OPS+, 2005 through 2009)
Jeff Francoeur: 126, 87, 103, 72, 68
Ryan Church: 118, 131, 114, 106, 88