Saturday, July 11, 2009

The New Key Met

My initial response to the Ryan Church/Jeff Francoeur deal was something to the effect of "Huh?" I have to say I didn't expect it coming, or at least not a deal particularly like this. But if this is the kind of deal Omar Minaya is going to make to somehow cosmetically make us think he's conscious, well, so be it.

I understand the logic of the deal, which I assume to be something like, "Here, we'll take your headcase off your hands, but in exchange we'll deal you one of ours and hopefully this'll work out for both of us." That's the only way this deal makes sense to me, because I think that both players more or less cancel each other out.

Neither Church or Francoeur are going to save the Mets season at this point. I suppose thinking longer term, Francoeur is the better player, if only because he's 25 (5 years younger than Church), he has some sort of demonstrated record as a full-time player (though not necessarily a good one) and he gives the Mets some sort of decent bat from the right side (though, at this point, any bat that wasn't already on the team is probably an upgrade over the incumbent). On the other side, I was never especially fond of Francoeur, though, let's face it, that was primarily because he played for the Braves and drew a ton of hype during his initial splash in the Major Leagues and his solid seasons afterwards. There's also the whole "Sleeping with the Enemy" factor, which more often than not ends up burning the Mets in the long run (see: Glavine, Tom; Stanton, Mike; Randolph, Willie).

Then, there's Church, who becomes the first Met to be traded during the same season in which I named him a Key Mets player. To this point, Church has posted better numbers than Francoeur, but at the same time, there wasn't any sign that he was going to perform any better than he was. He hadn't gotten hot like he was at the beginning of '08, and it seemed like he was constantly being called out as being hated by Manuel, a problem in the Clubhouse and not a fan of New York. He also didn't help himself with that whole missing 3rd base fiasco. Again, who the hell knows if any of this is true, but I have a feeling that we're going to find out now that he's been traded and the Mets and Braves will play each other next week. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Church has already been in touch with good friend Larry, promising to spill all the Mets signs to the Braves. A common practice, no doubt, but when you have two teams whose fondness for each other can be best compared to, say, Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell, these things can escalate.

Braves fans seem to be tearing their hair out. Mets fans are not surprised that Church was dealt, but perhaps odd to hear who's coming in return. I guess this can only work out in the positive for the Mets. After all, things can't get much worse.

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