The debate over what number Jeff Francoeur ought to wear started in the post below long before I even knew we’d traded Ryan Church for him in a deal begging to be debated long after the Mets and Braves realize it hadn’t helped them. Francoeur of course wore No. 7 with the Braves and won’t with the Mets as long as Jose Reyes (remember him?) is employed. Let’s look at the candidates:
No. 6: Nick Evans was just demoted — Angel Pagan returned from the DL — and the addition of Francoeur does Evans’ future no favors. But I like 6 as a scrubeenie signifier and would hate to see it wasted on a guy we’ll come to remember — good or bad — as much as Francoeur. Didya know he’s under team control for one more than Chuch? Oh yes. He’s our right fielder through 2011 if we want him, and maybe if we don’t Gulp.
No. 8: Still sitting there.
No. 19: If there’s something to admire about this deal off-the-bat is how brazen a challenge trade it really is: Both right fielders, both considered disappointments, both teams in the same division, both more or less fighting for the same goal. Why not make it a true Del Unser Deal and change up the jerseys as well?
Nos. 30, 32, 35 and 40 are open as well.
As for the trade, I fear it: It seems that if Church only played a little better he’d not have been traded to begin with but it takes more ignorance of on-base percentage than I’ll ever have to think we haven’t just made a bad offense even worse. That said, Francoeur is right-handed and young and may still become something; while Church, for whatever reason, has fallen out of favor with two clubs already.
Let the challenge begin.