The Atlanta Braves have traded the once-Golden-Boy, Jeff Francoeur, to the division rival New York Mets for outfielder Ryan Church. I am beside myself. I mean, I knew the Braves would get rid of Francoeur somehow, but I didn't think they'd get rid of him to their biggest rival. The Mets must have indeed been the last resort for Frank Wren.
Church doesn't represent a real upgrade in the power department, though he certainly uses more of his ability than Francoeur does, but he is an equal defender and is better at getting on base. Here is a comparison of their stats for this year:
|2009 - Jeff Francoeur||82||304||32||76||12||2||5||35||12||46||5||1||.250||.282||.352|
|2009 - Ryan Church||67||232||26||65||16||0||2||22||17||36||6||2||.280||.332||.375|
On first blush I like this trade. We get a better hitter, even if we did have to give up the once-face of the franchise (but that ship sailed a while ago). The risk here is that Francoeur figures something out and comes back to bite us time and again, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim if you've watched Francoeur over the last couple of years.
Good trade by Wren. While we would have saved about half a million in the deal, apparently the Braves also had to send the Mets cash to cover the differences in salaries. Wow! Jeff Francoeur is so bad, that we had to pay someone to take him. Still, good trade by Wren.
Looking at the split-stats for Church this year at the Mets new ballpark, which is playing like a pitchers park, he does a whole lot better away from there. His home slash splits are .216/.297/.278, while his road splits are .326/.359/.444, with 13 of his 16 doubles coming on the road. That makes this deal look even better. We could be getting a hitter who is just itching to get out of Citi Field.