The Red Sox have talked to the Royals about Jeff Francoeur

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I don’t post this because it’s likely to lead to anything. In fact the guy who reported that the Sox and Royals have discussed Francoeur — Jon Paul Morosi — said that they were “exploratory” and not likely to go anywhere. But the mere existence of Francoeur talks with a team other than Atlanta makes me feel a tad better about the state of the world, so I gotta cling on to it like grim death.

To be honest, though, Francoeur could help the Sox if they kept him in a strict platoon.  Same goes for just about anyone.  I have little faith that Atlanta would platoon him, though, so his very presence on the market causes me great vexation and agitation.

Brandon McCarthy to retire after the season

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Braves pitcher Brandon McCarthy said he will retire at the end of the 2018 season, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. McCarthy has been on the disabled list since June 25 due to tendinitis in his right knee. He is hoping to contribute out of the bullpen down the stretch.

McCarthy said, “I’m done after this. This is it. The offseason is the rest of my life. If I was going to keep playing, a month and a half ago I would have had the surgery that cleans the [knee] and I’d be back next year just a little bit after spring [training].”

In 15 starts this season, McCarthy posted a 4.92 ERA with a 65/21 K/BB ratio in 78 2/3 innings. He would be eligible for free agency after the season. The Braves acquired McCarthy along with Charlie Culberson, Scott Kazmir, and Adrian Gonzalez from the Dodgers in December in exchange for Matt Kemp.

McCarthy has spent parts of 13 seasons in the majors with the White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Dodgers, and Braves. Altogether, he has won 69 games with a 4.20 ERA across 1,223 2/3 innings. Nice.