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The Phillies trade Ben Francisco to Toronto

Dec 12, 2011, 1:12 PM EDT

Ben Francisco

The Blue Jays just announced that they have traded for outfielder Ben Francisco. To the Phillies: lefty Frank Gailey.

When last we heard of Francisco, he had just hit a three-run pinch-hit home run off Jaime Garcia in the top of the seventh inning of Game 3 of the NLDS. In more normal times we know of him as a fourth outfielder type with a .260/.332/.430 career line in over 1500 plate appearances scattered over five seasons. You might think of him as a platoon guy, but over his career he has hit lefties and righties at roughly the same clip.

Gailey is a minor league lefty who posted a 3.41 ERA and 61/21 K/BB ratio in 74 innings this year between Single-A and Double-A. He’s 26, so it’s not like he’s a comer, but he could be useful.

For the Phillies, this was mostly about roster flexibility, it seems. Francisco was arbitration eligible and there really wasn’t a place for him. Playoff heroics aside, Charlie Manuel seemed to sour on him some after his stint starting at the beginning of last year was less-than-stellar.

  1. lewp - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Shouldn’t Ben Francisco been traded to San Francisco? Just sayin…

    • mojosmagic - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      Well that’s where he must have left his bat.

  2. areyesrn - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    he was the only guy on that Phillies team that DIDN’T make Jaime Garcia look like a first ballot HOFer

    • evanwins - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      So you pay him 1.5 million? Like it says in the article, this move was about flexibility and avoiding having to go to arbitration with someone there is really no space for on the bench.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    For the Jays, this has to be the prelude to another trade. My guess is that LF Marcus Thames is going to Oakland as part of a package for Gio Gonzalez.

    • biodiversityinfocus - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      That’d be a bummer as I really enjoyed watching Thames play last year, and I think he’s got a ton of potential. Guess they can’t keep everyone though…

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:54 PM

      My bad. I ment Eric Thames.

    • paint771 - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      Why do you think Thames over Snider?

      Snider is clearly the higher-upside player, but the Jays at this point have to be seriously entertaining the idea of using him as a major trade piece. He hasn’t been able to perform for the Jays at the MLB level with the current staff/system they have in place, and at 24, the Jays have to be getting worried that if he doesn’t break next year not only do they have a busted prospect, but one whose trade value is exponentially less year after year.

      Thames has done everything the Jays have asked him to do, and backed up by the current mix of veterans and in-the-pipeline hot prospects, there’s no reason a Thames-Plan B platoon couldn’t hold down the fort just fine at LF. Deal Snider now and you’re still selling relatively high, and hell maybe doing the kid good, too. Like Aaron Hill, it’s more and more looking like a change-of-scenery is all that’s going to get it done for Snider.

  4. unclemosesgreen - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Ben Francisco is like a right-handed Fred Lewis.

  5. cintiphil - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    With the trading record of the Blue J’s, look out for this guy Gailey. He will be the next Halladay, or Carpenter, or other star pitcher they traded away.

    • paperlions - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      Carpenter wasn’t traded. The Cardinals actually signed Carpenter as a FA, he had a shoulder injury at the time and was expected to miss at least 1/2 the upcoming season. He missed the entire season, but it worked out in the end.

      • cintiphil - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        Technically, you are correct. However, they could have signed him if they had a will to do so. They didn’t and that says something about the baseball sense there. However, you are correct, he was a F-A. he didn’t have to be.

      • jwbiii - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Releasing Chris Carpenter was J.P. Ricciardi’s call. He doesn’t work there anymore.

      • paperlions - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        There just aren’t a lot of team out there looking to sign a pitcher with a shoulder injury to a multi-year deal (which is highly risky, for pitchers, shoulder injuries make elbow injuries seem mild)….there was one team willing to give Carpenter that deal….so if you want to paint with that brush, paint 29 teams…not just 1.

      • supersnappy - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:19 PM

        The Jays failure to re-sign Carpenter tells you about the baseball sense there in 2003… also he was one of the few pitchers to recover from a torn labrum

    • JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:32 PM

      “With the trading record of the Blue J’s, look out for this guy Gailey. He will be the next Halladay, or Carpenter, or other star pitcher they traded away.”

      26 years old and still at the AA level? I hope you’re being sarcastic. He’s a non-prospect.

  6. cleverbob - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    I am rendered indifferent.

  7. somekat - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    In other news, water is wet, fire is hot, and snow is cold

    • foreverchipper10 - Dec 13, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      This implies things that we know or that are obvious. Did you think this trade was going to happen?

  8. Jonny 5 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    I like the guy. He’s got some power, his numbers aren’t disgustingly bad. But he is very frustrating to watch when he tries to play OF. He’s not to bad with batted balls coming in front of him, but anything a bit over his head usually falls for a hit. He fumbles out there and he will frustrate the fans in Toronto looking like Fred Sanford with anything hit over his head.

    • cintiphil - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      And you still like him? Why pray tell.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        He’s a really nice guy it seems. And he’s got some power, enough to make some big plays with his bat at times.

      • cintiphil - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        OK, Whatever you think.

    • schmedley69 - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:23 PM

      He reminded me of Lonnie Smith a little bit. He just looked goofy out in the field chasing after balls. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a good year in Toronto. I don’t think he was as bad as his numbers indicated last year.

  9. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    I think Amaro could have gotten a tad bit more for him, but whatever.

    • cintiphil - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

      What are you guys talking about? How can you get more for the guy with his record. What did he hit before the HR in the playoffs? I am surprised he is still in MLB. I think the Phills got a better deal with whatshismane. He will be a Cy winner any year now that Toronto traded him away.

  10. Francisco (FC) - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    What? I told AA there was only room for one Francisco in this town, how dare he challenge me!?!?

    • cur68 - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

      You guys need to hug it out….

  11. deathmonkey41 - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I believe the Phillies traded Francisco to make room for the return of Pat Burrell.

  12. JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Pure giveaway by the Phillies. Craig is being charitable; 26 year old pitchers who are stuck in A/AA ball are not assets. They’re org guys; aka filler.

    • paperlions - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      Francisco is an end-of-the-bench player. Average on-base skills, a bit of power, and horrible defense at a corner OF spot…he is the definition of replacement level.

  13. mojosmagic - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Book on Ben. Below average bat, average power, below average OB%, below average speed,below average arm, butcher in the field with bad baseball instincts. Streaky hitter, KO a lot, can’t move a runner, can’t bunt, and will hit into a lot of double plays. Seems like a good team guy but flat out stinks as a ML player.

  14. spudchukar - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    They needed to make room for Omar Visquel.

    • jwbiii - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM

      You don’t see Ozzie Guillen talking Larry Beinfest into signing him to a multi-year deal?

  15. mlblogsthephightinphilliephan - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Not sad at all to see Benny Fresh go. Horrible fielder, well below avg bat. But I agree that we could have gotten a tad more out of this.

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