Sunday 14th February 2016,

The Inevitable Jeff Francoeur Signing

December 9, 2010 – Jonathan Gardner

For centuries, humankind has debated the nature of free will. Does it exist or is free will simply a lie we tell ourselves? The Puritans believed that our lives were predestined and that God had already selected a few people among us to go to Heaven. Some physicists interpret Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to mean that time has already happened and our lives are simply a series of unchangeable experiences. In the 2002 film The Butterfly Effect, Ashton Kutcher learned that free will existed and time could be changed, but doing so could have dire consequences. Today, Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore has put an end to that debate by agreeing to terms with former Brave, Met, and Ranger Jeff Francoeur. Frenchy will get $2.5 million, plus incentives in 2011 with a mutual option for 2012 worth $3 million. The contract represents such an inevitable pairing of GM and troubled asset that the only question is why it took this long to happen.

Jeff Francoeur was heralded as the next Chipper Jones and the jewel of the Braves’ farm system when Dayton Moore was its director. During his tenure as Royals GM, Moore has been on a single-minded quest to obtain every fallen Atlanta prospect possible and Frenchy certainly fits. After a decent season in the majors, Frenchy’s pathological need to swing at pitches that were feet outside of the strike zone began to catch up to him and since 2008 his performance has been right around replacement level. Francoeur, when asked about his lack of plate discipline, famously quipped that “they don’t put OBP on the scoreboard,” which could be inscribed on Moore’s tombstone.

For Frenchy, going to Kansas City represents the opportunity to disappoint an entirely new fanbase while for Moore, it is in keeping with his strategy of overpaying toxic assets who add little to a team
that is rebuilding anyway. This guy knows what I’m talking about.

Did you know that Dayton Moore had a secretary named Francoeur and Francoeur had a secretary named Moore? Its true. In a year where the Nationals have decided to play the Jokers of free agency and the Giants somehow won the pennant with Pat Burrell in left field, it is reassuring to know that sometimes things in baseball really do go according to plan.

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