The Mets' Jeff Francoeur 'Play Me or Trade Me' Demand Falls on Deaf Ears

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IAugust 12, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Jeff Francoeur #12 of the New York Mets hits a single against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field on June 26, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The New York Mets Jeff Francoeur has gone public with his demands for a trade. 

The outfielder has long been miscast as a starter in the NL, and it is unlikely that he will find a team that will guarantee him regular playing time.

His feelings were apparently hurt by having to platoon with Fernando Martinez. He issued the following statement through his publicist: 

"We want to play every day," Francoeur's agent, Molly Fletcher, told the Newark Star-Ledger. "We prefer to play in New York. But if we're not going to play every day in New York, we absolutely welcome the opportunity to play every day somewhere else."

And this overconfidence is based on what?

To be honest, Francoeur suffers from what a lot of major league players suffer from, and that is that their talent and production on the field don't match the ego created, in large part, by high school, college and minor league coaches who have consistently told them how great they are.

Well, here is a shocker, Jeff—you are not good at consistently hitting a baseball, my friend.

Francoeur has struggled after a good start, posting numbers (.241, 11 HR, 47 RBI) strikingly similar to those he produced in Atlanta. Yet after he was benched Saturday, Francoeur made the team aware of his displeasure, according to the Star-Ledger.

“I show up and if my name’s in the lineup, I’m playing,” Francoeur told the paper. “That’s pretty much all I have to say.”

Amazingly, he makes $5 million and is eligible for arbitration following the season. Some have speculated that Royals general manager Dayton Moore may be interested in the outfielder. But if he is, I am sure it will be at a much-reduced price.

In 812 major league games, Francoeur has a .309 OBP. He has been caught stealing almost as many times as he has attempted to swipe a base in his career.

He is hitting lefties at a .318 clip this season, so he may be useful as a platoon player, but remember that he is not happy in that role.

This is a guy who has posted an OBP of less than .300 in four full seasons, yet he clings to the unrealistic hope that he is an everyday player.

Even in his best season in 2006, before there was steroid testing, he may have hit 29 homers and driven in 103 runs, but he got on base less than 30 percent of the time.

His defense is about average, despite a strong arm. His potential usefulness as a part-time player is negated by his desire to play every day, along with a high salary, and the fact that the Mets probably want something useful in return.

But Mr. Moore has a penchant for ex-Braves prospects, so he may just be the guy to overvalue Francoeur to the point where he actually thinks he can play every day.

If so, then the joke is on him.


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