Francoeur for Greinke?

Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Braves are discussing a deal with the Royals that would send outfielder Jeff Francoeur to Kansas City for righthander Zack Greinke.

From the article:

According to one National League executive, the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves have had serious discussions about a trade that would send outfielder Jeff Francouer to the Royals for pitcher Zack Greinke. The same source said he believed the teams were close to executing the deal, but that Atlanta was holding up any and all trade discussions until the Braves had a resolution of their pursuit of right-hander A.J. Burnett. Current Royals GM Dayton Moore (who interviewed for the Red Sox’ job during Theo Epstein’s walkabout in 2005-06) is a former member of the Braves organization who is eager to bring Francouer to Kansas City.

Hmm … while I would love for the pesky Francoeur to leave Atlanta, I simply don’t see it happening. Despite his mid-season slump and temporary demotion to the minors, the organization seems to love Francoeur and the home-grown, “local boy done good” story attached to him. But then, the Braves have been operating differently since John Schuerholz retired.

If A.J. Burnett spurns Atlanta’s contract offer, the Braves will be in a fairly desperate situation, so a trade of Francoeur to fill a rotation spot is not completely unrealistic. Further, Greinke reminds me a lot of a young, righthanded Tom Glavine — a poised, confident pitcher with sick command of a 90-MPH fastball and offspeed stuff.

On the other hand, how many more young pitchers can the Royals afford to trade?

******* UPDATE ************

Joe Hamrahi says (through Twitter) that the Francoeur – Greinke rumors are “false false false”.

Hamrahi is tweeting live from Vegas. You can read more on Baseball Digest Daily.

****** UPDATE 2 ************

Mark Healey, also tweeting live from Vegas, says this rumor is “half-true”, and that the Royals are targeting Yunel Escobar, not Francoeur. This makes a lot more sense from Atlanta’s POV, as they seem ardent to dealing the Cuban shortstop. Does that mean the Braves sign someone like Orlando Cabrera? Or bring back Rafael Furcal? This one is worth watching.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude December 9, 2008 at 11:38 am
    I don’t see this trade happening, either. Greinke is coming off a much better season than Franceour, and pitching is always more valuable than OF help anyway. Plus, KC already has too many OFs hanging around, what with DeJesus, Gathright, Guillen, Teahen, Butler, Maier, and now Coco Crisp in the fold. From the Royals perspective, this trade makes absolutely no sense. It’s like trading the staff ace for a 5th outfielder.

    By the way, Joe, Greinke is a righty, not a lefty.

  2. joe December 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm
    thanks for the correction, ‘dude. I must have been thinking of Zach Duke!

    Agreed … this deal makes no sense from any angle. Usually piss-poor teams rebuild by ACQUIRING young pitching, not trading it away. Maybe they know something about Greinke that we don’t … perhaps that anxiety issue is more of a problem than we know.

  3. Timo December 9, 2008 at 1:02 pm
    Actually this deal makes sense. I disagree with you guys. The Royals are looking move some of there outfields and dump salary. So I can see Guillen and Teahen be traded. I can also see DeJesus being traded for young talent becasue now they have Coco. Also, Bulter is a glorified DH. He stinks in the OF. Franceour can replace Guillen as the RF. He can also replace his bat @ a considerable discounted price. PLUS, Grienke was MIA about a year or 2 ago. He broke down mentally and needed some time off. I don’t think he even pitched in the BIGS that year. So the Royals probably want to give him up while his stock is high.
    This trade is giving up on prosepts that had bad years. They both can do better on different teams. However, Geinke to the Braves would really scare me as a Met fan. He could be the next Tom Glavine on the Braves.
  4. joe December 9, 2008 at 1:32 pm
    Interesting points Timo. I wonder if KC is looking to do some serious wheeling and dealing. They’ve been shopping Guillen all offseason … and wouldn’t DeJesus be a great fit on the Yankees, who are desperate for a centerfielder?

    I took another look at the Royals’ roster, and it appears they do have a bunch of good young pitching, but not much power hitting. In fact they look like an NL team.

    Maybe Timo is on to something here …. perhaps if the Royals can pick up some big bats, they could sneak up on teams in 2009.

  5. joe December 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm
    UPDATE — Joe Hamrahi reporting via Twitter says “Francoeur rumors are false, false, false…take it from me, I know”
  6. joe December 9, 2008 at 4:07 pm
    SECOND UPDATE — Mark Healey reporting from Vegas says the Braves may move Yunel Escobar for Greinke
  7. isuzudude December 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm
    Of course they were false. It may have been true that the Royals were looking to dump some of their incumbent OFs and liked what Franceour brought to the table, but what made the deal unbelievable was that they’d be giving up a young pitcher who had just won 13 games on a bad team with 200+ innings pitched and 180+ strikeouts for an outfielder who has a serious hole in his bat, battled inconsistency and loss of confidence all last year, and has seen his power and average stats take a plunge. If the Royals were serious about dealing Greinke to improve their OF, they had to know they could do way better than Franceour. Hell, if they took Greinke and Soria and sent them to Colorado they easily could have gotten Holliday. But instead they covet Franceour? And then what? Trade Guillen for some bottom-feeding pitcher? Remember Guillen was being tossed around as a name the Mets could acquire in exchange for Castillo. What would the equivalent of Castillo be for a pitcher? Carlos Silva? So instead of Greinke and Guillen the Royals would rather Franceour and Silva? Now you see why the deal did not make sense from the get go.
  8. joe December 9, 2008 at 4:34 pm
    ‘dude, but is Escobar worth Greinke? Or are the Royals content with Mike Aviles, who very quietly had a very nice rookie season?

    My guess is they see the iron-gloved Aviles as a potential super-sub, a la Mark DeRosa, and would like to add both strong defense and dynamic offense to their team in the form of Escobar, who is a star on the rise.

    With all those OFs, the Royals will definitely be making some kind of deal this winter. Though I’m with you — not sure why they’d trade Greinke.