I call him “Mr. Fancoeur” because it just sounded so fun in that Wall Street Journal article I linked to this morning. I know that WSJ and the New York Times use “Mr.” and “Ms.” as a convention, but the convention really doesn’t work in sports articles. Did they do this when pro wrestling was pushing mainstream in the mid 80s? “Mr. Beefcake?” Would it have been “Mr. Albano” or would they have gone with the more formal title for “Captain” Lou? I digress.
The point to this post is to link to Howard Megdal’s analysis of Jeff Francoeur’s chances of being traded, as he has so demanded. Howard’s piece provides a wonderful walk down bad-to-mediocre corner outfielder memory lane, and concludes by noting that, if history is any guide, ain’t no one gonna trade nothing for no Jeff Francoeur.
But let’s be clear about something: I don’t fault Jeff Francoeur for asking to be traded. On some level all athletes should feel like they’re awesome and should be playing all the time. The second they stop feeling that way, at least a little bit, is the second they lose their competitive edge. Good for Mr. Francoeur for not losing confidence in himself.
No, my issue is this whole media campaign and his agents demands of the Mets that her client be given playing time. That’s just loopy. Keep that stuff quiet.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.