Video: The Phillie Phanatic mocks Jeff Francoeur

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Outfielder Jeff Francoeur wasn’t particularly good for the Phillies last year, as his -1.1 Wins Above Replacement illustrates, but he was a positive influence in the clubhouse which is why the club was interested in retaining him this past offseason. They found other options, so Francoeur signed a minor league deal with the Braves and made the roster out of spring training.

One of Francoeur’s most memorable moments with the Phillies came last year on June 28 in game one of a double-header against the Nationals. In the top of the fifth inning with one out, Denard Span ripped a Kevin Correia pitch down the right field line, looking like an easy double. Francoeur, however, bobbled the ball, retrieved it, then attempted to throw the ball and lost the grip. Finally, he got the ball again and got it into the infield with Span on third base.

With the Braves in Philadelphia for a three-game series, the Phillie Phanatic decided to have some fun at Francoeur’s expense on Tuesday night, reenacting the outfielder’s misplays on that fateful afternoon. To his credit, Francoeur was a good sport about it, even tossing the Phanatic a baseball to use as a prop.

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Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.