Mets Trade OF Ryan Church To Braves for OF Jeff Francoeur

Sam FogelgarenCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2009

ATLANTA - JUNE 26:  Jeff Francoeur #7 of the Atlanta Braves against the New York Yankees at Turner Field on June 25, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

In a trade early Friday evening, the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves swapped Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur.

In 67 games this season, Church is batting .280 with two home runs and 22 RBI's. Church got off to a great start with the Mets in 2008, batting .320 with 10 Home Runs and 34 RBI's, but his season went downhill from that point, mainly due to a concussion.

The Mets acquired Church from the Nationals along with catcher Brian Schneider in exchange for Lastings Milledge on November 30th, 2007.

In 504 Major League games, Church is a career .273 hitter with 49 home runs and 224 RBI's.

Francoeur, a first-round pick by the Braves in 2002, was a top prospect for the Braves, and through 2007, had established himself as one of the best young players in baseball.

In 2006, Francoeur hit .260, with 29 home runs and 103 RBI's, only to follow up in 2007 by hitting .293, with 19 home runs and 105 RBI's.

But since that time, Francoeur has not lived up to the ability that he promised, as he hit just .239, with 11 home runs and 71 RBI's. Through 82 games this season Francoeur is hitting .250 with five home runs and 35 RBI's. 

The Mets, who are currently 40-44, five and a half games back of the NL East leading Philadelphia Phillies, need to make a run down the stretch if they want to catch up to the Phillies, who are 45-38.