I can’t remember the last time I wanted a guy to make a team as much as I want Jeff Francoeur to make the Phillies next year. He’ll get his chance as he and seven others, including Xavier Paul, Russ Canzler and Brian Bogusevic, signed minor league deals with spring invites today.
Really, Francoeur on the Phillies is basically the trolling singularity for guys like me. I would probably watch every single Phillies game he started next season if he made it. I’d even consider a Phillies shirsey with his name on the back.
But, beyond that, I’m not mocking the deal here. It’s only a minor league thing. And a team that is rebuilding should be in the business of getting veteran placeholders who cost virtually nothing to keep spots warm until there is a plausible prospect to be used in his place. A mockable move would be to sign some 30something scrub to a multi-year deal to fill that spot. This is actually just good sense by Ruben Amaro. Stockpile veterans who are basically free and do your best to get through the season.
Still, I am totally on team Francoeur here. And I am dead serious about buying that shirsey if he makes the team. You guys remind me of this next April, OK?
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Orioles have signed free agent outfielder Tyler Colvin. It is believed to be a Major League deal.
Colvin, 28, spent the last two seasons with the Rockies. He hit well in 2012, finishing with an .858 OPS in 452 plate appearances, but suffered a collapsed lung near the end of the season. He started 2013 with Triple-A Colorado Springs, posting a .914 OPS before earning a call back up to the big leagues. He struggled, however, posting a .472 OPS between June 8 and July 9. The Rockies sent him back down to Triple-A but the struggles continued and he eventually went on the shelf due to a disc injury in his back. The Rockies outrighted him in September, and he elected free agency in October.
If he can stay healthy, he can be a useful left-handed hitter for the Orioles. He displayed a good amount of power in 2010 with the Cubs and 2012 with the Rockies, hitting 20 and 18 home runs, respectively. Colvin will be in for a tough competition, however. Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun counts 12 outfielders that will be in camp with the Orioles for spring training. They include Delmon Young, Francisco Peguero, Xavier Paul, David Lough, and Quintin Berry.
One day after trading Danny Valencia for outfielder David Lough the Orioles have added some more outfield depth, with Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reporting that they’ve agreed to a minor-league deal with Xavier Paul.
Paul has bounced around a lot without getting a ton of extended chances, hitting .254 with 12 homers and a .692 OPS in 746 total plate appearances through age 28.
He’s always hit well in the minors, including a lifetime .323 batting average at Triple-A, and is certainly capable of being a productive part-timer or left-handed bench bat.