Jon Heyman of CBS Sports thinks the Kansas City Royals may entertain trade offers for outfielder Jeff Francoeur. According to Heyman, Wil Meyers has performed so well that the Royals will likely move Francoeur this summer.
Meyers has yet to be called up by the Royals, but should they trade Francoeur, a roster spot will be available. Meyers was drafted by the Royals in the third round of the 2009 draft. He has spent the last three seasons moving up the ranks of the minor league system. This is his fourth year, and Meyers has suddenly made the leap to one of the organization’s best prospects.
Meyers is hitting .342/.404/.724 with 22 home runs this year between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. Meyers has now played 25 games with the Omaha Stormchasers and is hitting .340/.398/.734. He has done most of his damage while playing with Omaha, hitting nine of his 22 home runs with them.
Should the Royals look to trade Francoeur, there will certainly be interest. Francoeur has rejuvenated his career to a certain extent in Kansas City. With the Royals, his batting average is ten points higher than his career average, his on-base percentage is 11 points higher, and his slugging percentage is 27 points higher. So far this year, Francoeur is hitting .268/.309/.414 with 5 home runs. The drop off in performance from last year may be another reason the Royals look to move him.
Francoeur was once one of the best prospects in the game when he came up with the Atlanta Braves. However, he didn’t develop into the consistent threat that most scouts thought he would. Prior to the 2005 season, he was ranked as the number 14 overall prospect in baseball.
Heyman feels that Francoeur’s contract may reduce interest come the trade deadline – he is to make $13.5 million between this year and next. However, if Francoeur can improve this season and finish it out with a WAR over 1.0, the contract will be in line with his true value or it could be a bargain. Unfortunately for Francoeur and the Royals, he is currently sitting at -0.8 WAR this season.
For more on the Royals be sure to check out Kings of Kauffman.