Phillies Avoid Arbitration With Ben Francisco

The Phillies have agreed to a one-year, $1.175MM deal with Ben Francisco, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer.  The 29-year-old outfielder is represented by John Boggs.

This offseason was Francisco's very first as an arbitration eligible player.  In 2010, Francisco turned in a .268/.327/.441 slash line with six homers in 197 plate appearances.  Philadelphia acquired the right-handed batter from Cleveland in the deal that brought them Cliff Lee in 2009.  To keep up with the status of every arbitration eligible player, bookmark our handy Arb Tracker.

Paul Hagen of The Philadelphia Daily News has the breakdown of the incentives in Francisco's contract.


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14 Comments on "Phillies Avoid Arbitration With Ben Francisco"


myname_989
4 years 7 months ago

I think Ben Francisco is poised for a breakout year in 2011. Good deal.

4 years 7 months ago

He puts up the same numbers every year, I don’t see a ‘breakout’ happening with this guy, especially in a platoon/4th outfielder role.

But he is a nice piece to have around.

myname_989
4 years 7 months ago

He’s had severely limited playing time in his tenure with Philly. It’s hard to hit in that situation at all, let alone, put up staggering numbers. Jayson Werth got his start in Philly as a platoon player, and with Francisco having shown the potential to hit for power, he could play himself into an every day role like Werth did.

In my own opinion, having Brown at least start the season in AAA with a platoon of Francisco / Ross Gload would be beneficial to all parties involved. Brown takes over in right field in 2012, and we’ll see if Francisco can stick in left. If the platoon begins to fail, you call up Brown to see some time in right.

I think Francisco has the potential to play every day though.

4 years 7 months ago

I think it’s time to let Brown just see what he can do with any every day role at the big-league level. Isn’t he approaching 24? The Phillies have enough offense and certainly enough starting pitching to carry them if Brown isn’t all that productive early on, so let the kid play already. It’s not like he’s being rushed…..If getting Francisco more playing time is a priority, just platoon him with Ibanez.

Honestly, let’s say Brown puts up a .250, .310, .420 line with 14 HR and 15 steals over the course of a full season of playing time. Now, I think he’s capable of more than that…….but does anyone think Brown’s performance(or the performances from various players in RF) will be the deciding factor into them making the playoffs or not?

Obviously Manual knows more about baseball than I do, but if I’m him I start Brown in RF on opening day.

myname_989
4 years 7 months ago

I think a lot of this comes down to how Brown looks in Spring Training. They did a nice little piece about Brown on MLB Network a while back that showed a crucial flaw in his swing — the way he holds his hands. He’ll have to make an adjustment akin to what Werth did (remember when he held his hands up around his head?) so that he can hit against lefties with more success. He won’t be able to hit those 500ft bombs like he did in 2010, but he’ll make contact with more frequency and drive more pitches into the first row.

If he’s able to fix that before the season starts, then I agree with you, he needs to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day. However, sometimes, it takes weeks, and maybe months, to correct your swing. What the Phillies definitely don’t want to do is force him to adjust his swing at the major league level, against major league pitching. That’s why I think he’ll end up in AAA on Opening Day.

If that’s the case, you let Gload / Francisco platoon in the outfield, and see what kind of production you get. Frankly, I’m of the train of thought that Francisco (.901 OPS vs. LHP) and Gload (.818 OPS vs. RHP) could created a formidable outfielder. If the platoon excels, one of those guys, or both, move into left field once Ibanez’s contract is up (assuming they could resign Gload), and slot Brown, who should have his swing corrected by then, into right field.

I think it’s a decision that could benefit the Phillies in the future, as well as now.

4 years 7 months ago

Ahh, appreciate the info on Brown. Wasn’t aware he was attempting to correct his swing, so what you proposed makes more sense now.

One minor thing though, Francisco had a .901 OPS against lefties in limited action last season. For his career it’s around .805 or something similar, and .743 in 2009. Gload’s career OPS vs RHP .751.

But like I said, the Phillies don’t need great, or even good production out of the RF position. And as a Braves fan, my opinion on platoons is a little down after seeing failed expirements in CF and LF year after year. Sometimes I just assume it’s impossible for any platoon to work after seeing guys like Melky, G. Anderson, Diaz, Frenchy, McLouth, Ankiel, Blanco, Greg Norton, and Eric Hinske trot out to the outfield. Thank god Prado’s out there now, at least until Chipper goes down.

Brad426
4 years 7 months ago

Solid 4th outfielder type. $1.175M seems like a steal, frankly.

4 years 7 months ago

I like it, Ben should play an important role for the Phils in 2011.

wayne_gomes
4 years 7 months ago

In an ideal world, Dom Brown will have early success, stick in a regular role in right and Francisco can be a true 4th OF….50 starts in LF (Ibanez platoon), 5-10 in CF to give Victorino rest and once a week in RF

4 years 7 months ago

I think Brown might need some more time in the minors. If he isn’t going to play everyday he needs to go somewhere that he can. This means Ben platoons RF with I assume Ross Gload. But I agree with you, I would like to get a platoon partner for Ibanez too. I’m hoping Rube can find us another RH bat who can play the corners, someone like Andruw Jones would be perfect.

wayne_gomes
4 years 7 months ago

Agreed on Jones, like him a lot as the 5th OF/last bench guy

And I don’t expect Dom to step in and start mashing necessarily, I just hope he can. Ibanez needs more rest/protection against LHP this year. Assuming the Phils don’t pick up a Jones or Thames (haven’t been rumored on them yet) to be the pure LF platoon guy, would be nice if Dom could show he can handle 100 starts in RF and allow Francisco to fill in more for Ibanez

4 years 7 months ago

thats what ive been saying…andruw jones would work pretty well

4 years 7 months ago

Brown is going to be a monster for a long time…

Whether he starts the season in AAA or not, I want (and fully expect) the Phillies to start Francisco when lefties are on the mound in 2011. He is a difference maker when he faces lefties. A bonafide #5-#6 hole hitter. With the good lefties in the NL East like Santana, I look forward to Ben Fran. dominating in 2011.

0vercast
4 years 7 months ago

I felt that way when he was with the Indians. Time is running out for greatness I’m afraid.