With Jeff Francoeur bound for Richmond and first baseman Mark Teixeira (above) supposedly being shopped, “it’s time for us to let go and face reality,” Shysterball’s Craig Calcatarra writes. “Mark Teixeira is not going to be a part of the next good Braves team. Jeff Francoeur probably isn’t going to ever be a part of a good team.” On the other hand, can you imagine how fucked Atlanta would be if they were currently trying to dump Andruw Jones?
The Francoeur move may be a case of closing the barn door after the horses have already run off. He’s been in the Majors for three years now, and has shown no signs of maturation whatsoever. Francoeur seems to be a hopeless case right now. He needed more time in the minors, but once he got off to that hot start in 2005 no one had the guts to send him down again. Since then he has been a team poster boy, a notorious man-about-town, and has shown neither the willingness nor the ability to figure out what the heck he’s supposed to be doing in the little white box in front of the umpire. How he has remained so clueless when Chipper Jones — a perfectly good role model — has been hanging around the whole time is beyond me, but hopeless he has remained, and his utter lack of production, more than just about everything, is why the Braves are floundering.
Sending out feelers on Teixeira is also a good move. The guy turned down 8 years and $140M from the Rangers last year, and there’s no way the Braves come close to offering that. Heck, there’s no way the Braves even come close to offering the college town discount to that which, it should be noted, Teixeira has shown no indication of being interested in in the first place. The guy is walking, either to the Bronx, Queens, or to Baltimore, and that’s pretty much that. Moreover, given the way the Braves got burned when the offered Maddux arbitration before the 2003 season (the sumbitch accepted it!) my suspicion is that they wouldn’t offer it to Teixeira either, thus negating the “keep him around and take the draft picks when he walks” argument. You don’t get those picks unless you offer arbitration. I’m pretty bad at valuing trades, so I have no sense of what Atlanta could expect to get for Teixeira, but it seems that something is better than nothing, and Teixeira’s bat won’t really be missed in the epic battle for third place which looms in the Braves’ future.
I’ve been wondering today which scenario is least likely ; Atlanta trading Teixeira within the division or the Mets eating what’s left of Carlos Delgado’s 2008 salary. But as much as I’ve repeated the mantra “the Mets were build to win this year”, there’s something slightly comforting about the notion Teixeira and Ryan Howard might both be leaving the NL East this winter.