Yeah, I don’t know either. First of all, I didn’t know that the Blue Jays even had a pitcher in the organization named Frank Gailey. And I have no idea why they’d trade him for a mediocre corner outfielder, of whom they already seemingly have a gazillion.
At first glance, you might think that Francisco, a right handed hitter, would make a good platoon player with either Travis Snider or Eric Thames in left field. However, a further, deeper glance, what one might even call a look into Francisco’s splits reveals that he’s really not a whole lot better against left handed pitching (.338 wOBA) than he is against right handed pitching (.331 wOBA).
If the Blue Jays really wanted this type of production against left handed pitching, they didn’t need to look much further than their own bench where Rajai Davis resides with a career wOBA of .336 against left handed pitchers. Davis is set to make $2.75 million this coming season, while Francisco is projected to earn somewhere around $1.5 million through arbitration.
Maybe the Blue Jays have a deal in the works to move Davis and they figured they could acquire Francisco at a low cost to replace the speedy outfielder and add whatever Davis brings back, which at this point could be nothing but the savings of $1.25 million and I’d call it a good deal.
As for the Phillies, it appears they love Lance Nix a whole lot more than most, presumably counting on their recent signing to platoon with John Mayberry Jr. There are a ton of other options for Philadelphia, as well. The team could go after Ryan Spilborghs from the Rockies who’s rumoured to be available or they could finally give regular playing time to Domonic Brown or maybe they could even have some interest in a Carlos Beltran type whose garnered a surprising lack of interest this off season.
It should be mentioned that the pitcher that the Phillies are acquiring in return is originally from Philadelphia. Gailey had been used mainly as a reliever in the Toronto farm system after being taken in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft. He’s seen as mainly a lefty specialist.