Before you ask, yes, apparently the Jays did have a minor leaguer named Frank Gailey.

Speaking of the minors, the Jays made a minor move this afternoon, acquiring outfielder Ben Francisco from the Philadelphia Phillies for left-handed reliever Frank Gailey, who finished the season putting up a 5.70 ERA over 30 innings in New Hampshire. That was the first taste of double-A ball for the 2007 23rd rounder.

Judging by a quick search on Twitter, Francisco has a place in the hearts of quite a lot of Phillies fans, mostly, I imagine, due mostly to the three-run pinch hit seventh-inning home run off Jaime Garcia in Game Three of this year’s NLDS, which powered the Phillies to a 3-2 win over St. Louis.

He’s not a particularly impressive corner outfielder, putting up negative UZR and DRS numbers in each of the last three seasons, and a .332 OBP and .762 OPS for his career with a pretty even platoon split. However, he had career bests in both his walk and strikeout rates in 2011, so maybe the Jays see something there that would make him more than the part-time player he was with Philadelphia the past two seasons.

I can’t say that I hope or imagine so, though.

On the surface what this looks like to me is a deal setting up another move– but maybe not the Snider- or Thames-moving “blockbuster” a lot of fans suspect.

The Jays outfield is plenty crowded as it is. Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus are near-locks to be in the Jays outfield opening day, Rajai Davis is under contract, and one of Eric Thames and Travis Snider seem slated to play left. Now you can add Francisco to that mix, but at the expense of who?

Rajai Davis may have the contract, he may be fast as fuck, but he also had 383 plate appearances to show something last year, and managed just a .273 OBP. And his speed doesn’t translate to great defence– he’s been -8.5 and -6.9 runs by UZR in the last two seasons.

It’s not very much like the Jays to eat the money still owed to him (right, Mark Teahen?), but that’s a valuable roster spot they’re wasting on what amounts to a backup CF and pinch runner who can’t stay healthy.

Which isn’t to say that I don’t think one of Thames or Snider might be moved this winter– shit, maybe both– especially after hearing that Alex Anthopoulos has supposedly kicked the tires on Carlos Quentin, but I really don’t see how adding Ben Francisco to the mix has much at all to do with that. Even if one of the youngsters is moved, it’s still Francisco and Davis who’d be fighting for the same spot, unless you really think the Jays are ready to move Snider and platoon Thames with a guy labelled a platoon player without the splits to back it up.

Given the Jays’ talk of needing to improve their ability to get on base, I suspect the bench outfielder with the .340 OBP last year looks a lot better than the one with the .273.

Jesse Chavez was D’d FA to make a spot on the 40-man roster for Francisco in the transaction as well.

Comments (68)

  1. Bye Travis. :(

  2. Or it is Thames or Davis

  3. After 293PA  .240/.340/.364 6HR

    Ben is not exactly an upgrade over Thames, is he?.

  4. They also DFA’d Jessie Chavez to get Fransisco on the roster. I honestly don’t remember if Chavez was terrible or not so… there’s that.

  5. The only logic to this is they want to platoon LF with Thames/ Snider. They already have Davis as a 4th outfielder. My gut feeling is Snider is going to be traded. No point in having him platoon if hes not going to play everyday

  6. I am so confused…

  7. So a guy with little speed, little power and is bad defensively? Ummm how’s that an upgrade over anyone the Jays have now?

  8. Thames is more suited to a platoon role.

  9. This has to be a sign of things to come. We have like 6 major league OF’s now.

  10. Uh oh.  Bye Travis?

  11. Well, there’s also the option of stopping Mr. Travis’ Wild Ride by sticking him in AAA all year.  You get the stability of not jerking him around, he’s not going to kill your major league club, and you’re not giving up on his potential.  I know he has nothing to prove at that level, but maybe he just needs to know where he’s going to be for a year?

  12. “AA, it’s Beeston.  We have 3,000 surplus FRANK FRANCISCO jerseys in the Jays shop that we can’t move.  Do something about it ASAP.”

  13. If there isn’t another move in the next little while, this is the most confusing thing ever.  The Jays have little use for a replacement level outfielder.

  14. Indeed. Head scratching move to say the least. When you have 5 potential LF”s on your roster in Thames, Snider, Davis, EE and Johnson that’s a curious move. Even if he were to move one of Snider, Thames or Davis there’s still plenty to go around.

  15. Depth move? Injury back-up?

  16. My conclusion: Jays trade for a starting pitcher. It costs them a star prospect outfielder, but the other team needs a stop-gap guy to bridge to the up and comer.  So my guess is Marisnick or Gose, Ben here plus one other for a starting pitcher.

  17. Yay another guy who can’t hit worth shit.

  18. The list of players to complain about getting too much playing time is growing:

    - Ben Francisco
    - Luis Valbuena
    - Jeff Mathis
    - Mike McCoy
    - Mark Teahan

    Nice to see the Jays “significantly upgraded” offense coming together

  19. I think the organization knows Snider is screwed up in the head as far as playing in Toronto goes and will try and convince a team that a change in scenery would do him great (sort of like Hill i guess) .
    Hopefully they can get a return from a team deep with pitching.

  20. Thames doesn’t hit left-handers well, and Snider doesn’t hit them at all as his ridiculous .300 OPS vs lefties last year showed. A platoon left fielder who can hit lefties was a clear need. 

  21. If anyone speaks Nonsensical, I’d appreciate if they could translate the following bit of gibberish for me. 

    No point in having him platoon if hes not going to play everyday

  22. lol

  23. BLOCKBUSTER!

  24. Type your comment here.   Going to be sad to see Gailey go, but when you can get Francisco it is worth it

  25. Where are you quoting “significantly upgraded” from? I suspect you’re not, and it is dishonest to pretend to quote someone when you are making it up yourself. 

  26. Reme

  27. GEENEUS MOVE, AA!

  28. Odd. I’m somewhat hoping the thinking behind this is a platoon in LF, which would be great (please create one with Lind too!). But if that’s the case, couldn’t they have just used Davis in the same way that they’ll use Francisco?

    I wonder if Davis is the one on the move.

  29. Don’t you see what they are doing??? Fielder is going to be the new left fielder!!!! This is huge!!!

  30. Davis has the wheels though…classic bench player. I see this setting up a Thames/Snider move more than a Davis move.

  31. Never heard of Frank Gailey.  I know of Ben Francisco, he seems like a right handed hitting (and fielding) Thames.

    A lot of outfielders on the team now.  Gotta think something is brewing.

  32. Thames doesn’t hit left-handers well, and Snider doesn’t hit them at all as his ridiculous .300 OPS vs lefties last year showed. A platoon left fielder who can hit lefties was a clear need.

    Then why didn’t they trade for that?

  33. Translation: The Jays should play Snider every day (be that in Vegas or Toront0) or trade him. He’s not going to develop on the bench, so putting him as part of a platoon makes no sense.

  34. To be fair, I re-arranged the wording but the quote was the following in response to my suggestion that the Jays offense last year was league average:

    “And it has already been upgraded significantly.”

    No need to single anyone out though.

  35. I’m not buying the platoon talk.  Davis has the same stats against lefties as Francisco.

  36. It would make sense that Davis would be the guy to play left in a platoon. A lot of people forget about him when they talk about players who should be better this year. He wasn’t anywhere close to the player AA traded for last year. He’s got more upside that Fransisco if he can stay healthy.

  37. I remember when Francisco looked like he had 20/20 upside with the Indians, but never topped 400 ABs.  When he was traded to Philadelphia I also felt crappy for him because he was going as a backup to Ibanez — I think he has some potential to be a decent LF.  He seemed to becoming something more in Cleveland.  I don’t think he is the second coming of Bautista, but I do think he can be viewed as starter material.

  38. A .762 OPS off the bench is pretty attractive when you consider the crap we threw out there for ~1000 AB last year (Nix/Patterson/Rivera/McCoy/McDonald). The best OPS out of that group was Rivera’s .666. Yes, obviously the club has improved elsewhere, but adding a decent bat off the bench for basically nothing is nice.

  39. And Jon Heyman tweeting that the Jays are one of four teams in on Fielder, they’re “thinking hard” about him.

    If it wasn’t Heyman, or Fielder wasn’t a Boras client, there might be something to that.

  40. I think it would be a mistake to trade Davis. Yes, he’s terrible at getting on base, but he’s a huge weapon off the bench as a pinch runner. He can win a game with his speed  on the basepaths. I would much rather trade Thames or Snider if it was for the right player.

  41. If only roster spots were unlimited…

  42. Confusing to say the least; this has to be setting something else up, because on its own it makes zero sense. 

  43. What is probable:
    Either Thames or Snider will be on the opening day roster, not both.  My guess is Snider goes to AAA to start the year.  One or the other will play everyday while sitting against tough lefties to let Davis and/or Francisco play.   I’d keep Davis around just as a pinch runner, unless he’s included in another trade package.  That leaves two extra outfielders in Davis CF/LF and Francisco LF.  The bench will also have Mathis and a McCoy type to fill the infield.  EE is your everyday DH and back up 1B/3B.  Teahen has to go.

    What is not probable:
    Rasmus is part of a package to KC for Hosmer making Davis the everyday CF and Francisco the 4th OF.
    OR
    Fielder signs and Lind is moved back to a LF/DH role.  Snider and Thames are then traded making Francisco the LF and Davis 4th OF.

  44. Don’t you guys get it? Alex hasn’t dfa’d anybody since tallet and now he’s  got the dfa itch

  45. He lost a few games with his baserunning fuck ups last year. 

  46. lol why is Griffin and Wilner tweeting about how good a defender Fransisco is?

  47. Well they have 6 OFs, they’ll only be able to keep 4 in the majors you’d assume.

  48. The other shoe just dropped!!!

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

  49. Anyone else hearing about a AA press conference at 5 today?  If that’s true there has to be something big in the works to merit that.

  50. Link?

  51. a presser huh? source?

  52. Mike Cormack of sportsnet tweeted: GM Anthopoulos will speak to media at 5 p.m. ET. We’ll listen in and update story immediately following.

  53. I’ve just seen it on twitter here and there and someone on Batters Box mentioned it as well.  Still not confirmed…

  54. interesting. thanks.

    JP Morosi tweeted 45 mins ago that an exec told him the Jays have the “right prospects” to go after Gio. whatever that means. the Jays have the right prospects to get just about anybody. whether they’ll trade ‘em is another issue entirely.

  55. hopefully one of those two… no reason to sell low on Snider

  56. Could be a conference call but yes…Mike Cormack of Sportsnet said over twitter that AA was going to adresss the media @ 5pm. 

    http://twitter.com/#!/MikeCorm

  57. 5 potentials and 0 full-time starters… not good. Hopefully Travis is unleashed!

  58. Mike Cormack tweet mentions press conference

  59. Maybe AA’s going to tell everyone the payroll will remain at $70 million and ticket prices are going to rise 10% a year until the MLSE acquisition is paid for.

  60. AA is clearly stocking up on these misfits to sacrifice them all in order to appease the Prince Fielder gods.

  61. Fox sports Writer Jon morosi is saying snider will be traded along with other pieces, possibly Ben fransisco as well to the athletics for gio Gonzalez,….. Possibly being completed today….

  62. Got a link to that? Certainly would be interesting to see how all the Snider fanboys react to that one.

  63. The Paddle asshole is a simple liar. A kid with access to the internet who thinks lying is funny. 

  64. Anyone else think Cecil tried to talk up how awesome Toronto was to his denounced son? 

  65. That would probably have the opposite effect coming from him lol

  66. Seems like Morosi enjoys baiting Jays fans quite a bit

  67. AA to announce at press conference he has re-acquired Corey Patterson as 8th outfielder!

  68. Funniest post!. They still had Alex Rios T shirts in August.

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