Any chance you could help put this to rest?
- There are rumors that the Atlanta Braves are shopping right fielder Jeff Francoeur.
The Boston Red Sox may be looking for a replacement for J.D. Drew, a former Atlanta Brave and Georgia native.
The loss of Frenchy, as his teammates and fans affectionately call Francoeur, would be severe.
Francoeur is known as an aggressive hitter, often swinging on the first pitch and accruing lots of strikeouts.
It's clear why the Braves are shopping Francoeur: His high strikeouts-to-walks ratio, his low on-base percentage of .275, and sub-.260 batting average. Plus, he's lost some of the power he had during his first two seasons in the major leagues. His .275 on-base percentage does not seem to fit in with Theo Epstein's typical outfield stats.
However, Francoeur would bring consistency to Boston's lineup. While J.D. Drew missed a lot of games last year, Francoeur has played in 150-plus games the last three seasons. Francoeur is also 25 years old. Drew is 33.
With all due respect, these Francoeur-to-the-Red-Sox rumors just might be the most preposterous in the history of preposterous rumors. Also, the suggestion that Francoeur's OBP doesn't "fit in" with what the Red Sox are trying to do might be the greatest understatement in the history of understatements.
I suspect that the Red Sox would be thrilled to unload J.D. Drew's contract, which runs through 2011 and will pay him another $37.5 million (and why they gave a contract like that to a player like Drew, I can't rightly say). But the Red Sox haven't exactly locked up a playoff spot, and until they do, they're hardly going to add an out-machine like Francoeur to their lineup. Not willingly, anyway.
Maybe there really is something to these rumors. I hope so, because it would be a great story. But this is the last you'll read about them in this space until we've got an actual trade. Or, at the very least, a credible quote from someone at Fenway Park who's willing to explain exactly how Frenchy's .269 OBP helps the Red Sox qualify for the tournament.