The Toronto Blue Jays acquired outfielder Ben Francisco from the Philadelphia Phillies for left handed pitcher Frank Gailey.

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.

Comments (32)

  1. Maybe Alex just like to stockpile certain things – Maybe mediocre left fielders the new right handed relievers?

  2. Snider better not be on the move for a #4 in Roger’s Centre like Gio Gonzalez. Ugh.


  3. The David Kahn syndrome

  4. This preludes Rajai Davis back to Oakland. The cosmic cycle continues.

  5. Whoa. Don’t look now. Blue Jays claim Jim Hoey.

  6. Probably just flexibility? Can they potentially cut Francisco and only pay a % of his salary by spring training if a trade for Thames does not materialize?

    Maybe they will trade Thames, send Snider at Vegas, and use Francisco as the everyday LF? You could definitely do worse than a Francisco/Rasmus/Bautista outfield.

  7. Incoming big trade!!!!

  8. they wont trade davis, yeah his bat is not the greatest , but the guys speed is unreal, something the jays have lacked for years , i could see them flipping francisco/ using him in a trade.

    • Ben Francisco’s trade value = Frank Gailey. I had to scroll back to the top of this page to type that because I’d already forgotten what Frank Gailey’s name was.

      • Francisco’s value to the Jays = Frank Gailey.

        That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have greater value to a team that’s not stacked in corner outfielders. It also doesn’t mean the player he’s potentially replacing (i.e. Davis) isn’t more valuable to a specific team with which AA is making a package deal.

        One of AA’s biggest strength is not just having great scouting on potential team members, but also evaluating the needs of other teams to finalize seemingly ridiculous trades (i.e. Rasmus).

  9. We all just assume that this is part of a bigger move.

    I mean, it’s not like AA has a history of trading for a guy that’s about to be non-tendered because he is a poor hitter without any real business getting any significant playing time, and any playing time he would get would take away from a player that we already have on the roster who is pretty much the same guy as he is.

    Oh wait.. Jeff Mathis…

    • The difference there being that there is already plenty of depth in the LF position compared to catchers. Mathis made SOME kind of sense. This is just odd.

  10. Using breaking to describe a quadruple A move?

  11. Can anyone tell me we we keep signing and trading for crap. I mean we need pitching well roy oswalt is a free agent why not him or edwin jackson the guy we traded away for the crap known as colby rasmus you sign one of those pitchers and prince fielder we may have a shot at contending in the AL east.

    • You don’t read a lot of baseball news do you Jeremy.

      Edwin Jackson’s fastball has been losing velocity for the past couple of years and as such he’s a fourth starter–in decline.

      Roy Oswalt is a massive injury risk. More subjectively, I don’t think he seems like the sort of person who would enjoy living and working in Toronto.

      Colby Rasmus is a high upside CF under control for like a million years.

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