All winter and spring, media outlets covering the Braves could be counted on to run 2-3 “this looks like the year Jeff Francoeur puts it all together articles” a week These articles continued even as the season wore on and it because obvious that Francoeur was not putting it all together. Really, it wasn’t until almost the very end of his tenure with the Braves that anyone started writing about just how awful a year the guy was putting together, and even then it was understated.
The good press continues for Jeffy in New York:
His latest performance, two hits in the Mets’ 5-1 victory Sunday,
put his batting average with the Mets at .300 in 100 at-bats. Francoeur
has played in 26 games since being acquired from the Braves for Ryan
Church and has gone hitless in merely seven of them–and never in more
than two straight. He drove in 19 runs in his first 20 games after the
trade. And he has provided the aggressive and strong-armed defense that
Mets had anticipated.
What the article doesn’t mention is that this one-month performance — which is substantially above anything he has accomplished in the past three seasons — still falls short of what one could expect from the average right fielder given his continued lack of plate discipline and meager power. His last month is nothing more than a modest blip on what is a continued unspectacular radar.
And the kicker: because it’s being portrayed as something special — because Francoeur represents mediocrity in a season of horrors — it’s probably going to cause the Mets to offer this guy a long term deal.
Whatever Francoeur is playing his publicist, he should triple it.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.