In a straight-up trade today, the Mets traded right fielder Ryan Church to the Braves for right fielder Jeff Francoeur. The trade is straight up in more ways than one. In addition to no other players or extra money being involved, the two players are virtually the same. The only differences are that Francoeur is only 25, compared to Church who is in his 30s, Francoeur is right handed instead of a lefty and Church has had more injuries.
Otherwise, they both play excellent defense and have had so-so offensive years. Church has a better batting average by more than 30 points at .280, but Francoeur has three more home runs and 13 more RBI. Francoeur also had played in almost every game this season for the Braves.
In a press conference Friday, Mets general manager Omar Minaya said an upside is that Francoeur is an everyday player. Maybe that’s because he’s been in the lineup almost every day whereas Church has sat a lot when there’s been a left-handed pitcher on the mound. If Jerry Manuel played Church every day, he might have the same stats.
I’m not convinced this is a good trade. Only time and stats will tell. At first hearing about the trade, I wondered, what’s the upside? The Braves’ and Mets’ management are hoping a change of scenery will help both teams. Francoeur has been slumping lately. He’s batting .250 and lacks plate discipline, according to Minaya.
It’s a shame to see Church go. I like him as a player, yet the Mets seemed to have had it out for him, despite what Church and Manuel have said about the situation in the past. They never seem to give him his proper due. It’s a shame the concussions derailed what looked to be a promising career with the Mets in 2008. I wish Church all the best and success with his new-found team, as long as it doesn’t hurt the Mets.
What do you think of the trade?