This evening, the Atlanta Braves made a relatively low-key signing, as they brought in an outfielder on a minor-league deal. Oh wait, you're saying that he's a former Brave? Well, that's interesting. The Braves have been bringing in a few former Braves and hometown guys this offseason so that's not a surprise. Wait, run that name by me again? It can't be. Surely not. Surely not!
Jeff Francoeur is returning to the #Braves with a Minor Lg deal and invite to big league camp— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) February 22, 2016
I'm going to try to relay this to you in my best Jim Ross impression: "BAH GAWD, THAT'S FRENCHY'S MUSIC! HE'S BACK! FRENCHY IS BACK! THE NATURAL HAS FINALLY COME BACK TO ATLANTA!"
Yep, the Braves have brought Jeff Francoeur back into the fold on a minor-league deal. The 32-year old righty was last seen around these parts in 2009, which is when Atlanta traded him to the Mets after his first stint with the Braves started with so much promise but ended with him turning into the replacement-level player that we know him as today. He finished 2015 with the Philadelphia Phillies, which is where he hit .258/.286/.433 with 13 home runs and 93 wRC+ for them over 119 games.
For any other franchise in baseball, this is a ho-hum signing of a fringe player that wouldn't make too much of a wave within the fanbase. However, these are the Braves and Francoeur is still a popular figure in pockets of Braves Country, so you can bet that this is going to be an extremely hot topic as the rest of the team reports to camp.