What is Jeff Francoeur Worth?


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The Phillies get walked off by Jeff Francoeur on Sunday.

Jeff Francoeur got a minor league contract offer to come to Spring Training for the Phillies, without an opt out clause in it. He was almost certainly going to spend time in AAA Lehigh Valley as late as one week out from the end of Spring Training camp. Yet today, Francoeur has been a regular for the Phillies in 2015, and has played well enough that there is discussion of him being traded at the deadline. While more “valuable” outfielding options have had every opportunity, “Frenchy” has just out played them.

The first, and most important thing to know about Frenchy is that he is a good outfielder. He’s a plus defensive player, with good range and a great arm. He’s shown he can play on both corner spots, and even shown he can pinch-hit. He has good health and he’s very durable, posting 202 plate appearances so far. He’s also been pretty decent- posting a .750 OPS, largely driven by .453 slugging percentage. His .263 batting average and 8 homers don’t jump off the page league wide at you, but if what you need is a 4th outfielder type of option, Jeff Francoeur stands out around the league as one of the better options around.

No one should confuse the 31 year old with Cole Hamels, whom the Phillies are looking to rebuild around dealing. Francoeur will get a more modest return. With that said, it doesn’t mean he can’t get the Phillies some real value. Last year the Phillies traded Roberto Hernandez for two dent minor leaguers on paper, one of which is pitching fairly well right now. Francoeur can certainly get them a return that’s similar. My sense is that one upside A-baller or maybe even a AA ball player could come back in a deal for Frenchy. You won’t get a top-100 prospect type, but you can get a player who has a shot to play in Philadelphia in a year or two in this deal. A Victor Arano type of ballplayer is probably the value the Phillies will get back for Francoeur, just as they have for the Hernandez’s and Bastardo’s of the world in recent months.

Not bad for a minor league contract signing.

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