In what must be a joke being played on Theo Epstein by somebody in some baseball executive room, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that the Royals and Red Sox have discussed OF Jeff Francoeur as a fallback to Carlos Beltran negotiations.
Morosi goes on to say nice things about how Jeff is handling left-handed pitching this year, but let me say this as clearly as I can:
There is quite literally no player in baseball that is less a Theo guy than Jeff Francoeur.
If we know anything about Epstein's mindset, it's that patience in a hitter -- and in a group of hitters -- is the most important thing to him. There are two blatant exceptions he's made (that I can think of; feel free to correct me) in his time here: Julio Lugo and Adrian Beltre. Lugo is to this day the most curious guy that Theo was enamored by; he offered very little and everybody seemed aware of that except for Epstein. Beltre was a short term, short money gamble that paid off handsomely.
Now, Francoeur may fall into that latter category, but he is not even remotely the same category player as Beltre. Beltre played below his talent level in Seattle, leaving many to think he was terrible (including me), when he really just couldn't hit in that park. Francouer just isn't good.
2011 has been his best year, by most accounts, though he played well in a half season with the Mets a few years back. But even this year, he has 23 walks against 71 strikeouts. He's inexplicably started stealing bases (double his career high this year already). He's hitting for power -- 23 doubles and 13 homers -- but his OBP is still just .310.
It's not like he's a seasoned veteran so you can couch some "veteran leadership" nonsense into this, either. He's been all over the place and is a free-swinging, fringe player. We're much better off with Josh Reddick and JD Drew, and Theo knows it. Or at least he should.