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Braves acquire Church, send Francoeur to Mets.

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Church is now a Brave.Division rivals swap underperforming outfielders in effort to ignite ailing offenses!

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Players will attempt to revive careers in cliched “change of scenery.”

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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Ryan Church from the New York Mets for embattled former-slugger Jeff Francoeur.

While the departure of Francoeur is certainly bittersweet for Brave’s fans who remember his Rookie of the Year-caliber campaign in 2005, the move should come as no surprise; Francoeur had shown decreased plate presence in each of his last three seasons and much of the power displayed during his inaugural seasons had evaporated.

Much like Francoeur, Church had fallen out of favor in New York City. Gaining a certain amount of popularity after his exceptional start to the 2008 season, Church was lambasted by the New York media and fans after failing to tag third base prior to scoring in a tight game earlier this season. The run was appealed and the Mets eventually lost the contest. In a way, Church became the Met’s goat, symbolizing what promises to be a lost season.

Both players are, at least, league average defenders with Francoeur having the slight edge over Church due to his extremely powerful arm.

To the Mets with you.While both players are not the impact bats they once were, Church has shown a much better ability to get on base and have useful at bats than Francoeur. He strikes out much less, hits for average, steals a little, and slugs a bit.

As it stands right now, the trade is fairly innocuous, with neither team clearly coming out on top.

It should promise to be a wash, even though I like the Brave’s end of the deal much more than the Met’s. Church is a better all around player and before a string of devastating concussions last year, showed flashes of brilliance completely unknown to Francoeur recently. While he is no significant improvement to the Brave’s outfield, I do believe he’s an upgrade over Frenchy.

For the last three years, Francoeur has looked desperately lost at the plate and has become as easy an out as anybody in the Brave’s lineup. Last year, he was demoted to Double-A and despite being angry about the move, it did little to improve his performance. Besides his Gold Glove defense, he has little to offer. Yes, he’s only 25-years-old, but there are very few players who have dominated as much as he did in 2005 and 2006, fell off the map, and then returned to form.

One analyst believes the Brave’s got a huge bargain: “If you made a trade this one-sided with your little brother as a child, you parents would instantly negate the trade and send you to your room.” While that may be a slight hyperbole, in the long run the deal should work out more in the Brave’s favor.

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3 Responses

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  1. I disagree, Francoeur will have a much bigger impact. Church gets on base alot I agree. However the mets are looking for power which Francoeur brings to the table. Church is unproven. At least we know what we will get out of Francoeur. Half a season does not a player make. Wonder which one will try P.E.D.S first, unless they have already… then both teams are screwed. Both players will be nothing but average thier whole careers. To that I say I will trade you my bag of dog shit for your bag of dog shit.

    Noah D

    July 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    • Okay, I’ll take everything you say…and disagree with all of it.

      Church unproven? Playing on the Nationals and with injuries for three years, Church put up home runs totals of 9, 10, and 15 along with OBPs ranging from .349 to .366. He never played a full season, his most being 144 in 2007. Last year with the Mets, he hit 12 home runs along with an OBP of .346 in just 90 games. He’s injury prone, but when healthy, Church has done nothing but prove he can get on base while providing solid power and good defense. I’d suggest looking at both Church’s and Francoeur’s slugging percentages and then try to tell me who has more power.

      Add to the fact that Francoeur has played in much better lineups throughout his whole career (Andruw Jones before he sucked, McCann, and rent-a-Teixeira) while Church has dabbled behind the likes of Jose Guillen and Ryan Zimmerman as a rookie, and I’d argue that he’s not only a better power hitter, but also a better pure hitter.

      Yeah, he’s had no breakout campaign like Francoeur did, but he’s clearly a much more solid all around hitter, and if he’s healthy, he should provide a much bigger boost to an ailing Brave’s offense than Francoeur, who should be toiling in Triple-A.

      dylansharek

      July 13, 2009 at 8:24 pm

  2. Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Braves acquire Church, send Francoeur to Mets….

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Braves acquire Church, send Francoeur to Mets….

    Baseballbriefs.com

    July 17, 2009 at 10:50 am


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