Jeff Francoeur Rumors

Royals Sign Francoeur To Two-Year Extension

12:36pm: The two-year deal is worth $13.5MM, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City (via Twitter).

10:18am: The Royals have signed outfielder Jeff Francoeur to a two-year extension, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

The Royals and Francoeur had a $4MM mutual option for 2012, so this deal buys that out and locks up Francoeur through the 2013 season. The 27-year-old right fielder, a one-time blue-chip prospect, signed with Kansas City in December after he was traded twice in less than two years, going from the Braves to the Mets to the Rangers.

Francoeur was mentioned prominently in trade rumors prior to last month's deadline, but he remained in Kansas City, where he is enjoying a modest renaissance from his nadir in New York. A career .269/.312/.430 hitter, Frenchy has been a bit better than that in 2011, hitting .278/.328/.465. 

Francoeur and Royals GM Dayton Moore have always had a strong relationship, going back to their time together in the Braves organization, according to Knobler (Twitter link). Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports first reported last month that a possible extension was in the works.


Quiet Deadline Possible For Royals

Though Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies are drawing interest from several clubs, the Royals may hold onto all three and continue using a six-man rotation, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals continue to say they’re happy to hold onto the starters, who hit free agency after the season.

“Nothing has changed with our situation,” GM Dayton Moore told Dutton. “The guys we have, I think, are more valuable to us than the potential [return].”

Chen projects as a Type B free agent under our most recent projections, so the Royals could obtain a supplementary draft pick if the left-hander turns down an offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere. Francis and Davies, however, don’t currently project as ranked free agents, so the Royals can’t expect picks for them.

Kansas City appears to be seeking a number three starter (or close to it) for Melky Cabrera or Jeff Francoeur. However, trades involving the two outfielders don’t appear to be brewing at the moment.


Passan On Upton, Nationals, Melky, Francoeur

The latest on the trade market from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan

  • A number of MLB officials tell Passan that they consider the Nationals the favorites for B.J. Upton. However, a Rays official says there’s no favorite at this point (click here for the latest on Upton).
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has told teams that pitching prospect Brad Peacock is not available.
  • Nationals executives and scouts have told others that Ian Desmond is available (despite reports that that Washington will hold onto its shortstop).
  • The Royals are leaning toward keeping Melky Cabrera in 2012, according to Passan. Cabrera, who is having an excellent season and remains under team control next year, might not fetch enough in a trade for GM Dayton Moore to pull the trigger.
  • The Royals are hoping to work out some kind of contract for next year with Jeff Francoeur. The sides have a 2012 mutual option for $4MM, but the Royals would likely have to offer more to lock Francoeur up for next season. They get the impression that the 27-year-old is interested in staying in Kansas City.


Passan On Upton, Nationals, Melky, Francoeur

The latest on the trade market from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan

  • A number of MLB officials tell Passan that they consider the Nationals the favorites for B.J. Upton. However, a Rays official says there’s no favorite at this point (click here for the latest on Upton).
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has told teams that pitching prospect Brad Peacock is not available.
  • Nationals executives and scouts have told others that Ian Desmond is available (despite reports that that Washington will hold onto its shortstop).
  • The Royals are leaning toward keeping Melky Cabrera in 2012, according to Passan. Cabrera, who is having an excellent season and remains under team control next year, might not fetch enough in a trade for GM Dayton Moore to pull the trigger.
  • The Royals are hoping to work out some kind of contract for next year with Jeff Francoeur. The sides have a 2012 mutual option for $4MM, but the Royals would likely have to offer more to lock Francoeur up for next season. They get the impression that the 27-year-old is interested in staying in Kansas City.

Red Sox Notes: Drew, Reddick, Francoeur

The Red Sox, who are already 25 games above .500, open a series against the Royals tonight. Here's the latest from Boston as Theo Epstein & Co. consider possible moves…

  • The Red Sox have tons of feelers out and scouts are watching their Double-A Portland club intently, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • J.D. Drew hit the disabled list with a left shoulder impingement today, but Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald hears that the injury won't make Red Sox more aggressive in talks for outfield help. Josh Reddick's emergence means the Red Sox have an in-house alternative to Drew.
  • Jeff Francoeur told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that it would be "neat" to be traded to Boston, though he's happy in Kansas City. "My dad took a train with my grandpa for tons of games to Fenway," Francoeur said. "I was in high school and had a Boston Red Sox credit card." 

Quick Hits: Nationals, Upton, Webb, Inge, Mariners

With nine days remaining before the trade deadline, the biggest trade chips in baseball are arguably Carlos Beltran (latest rumors) and Hunter Pence (latest rumors). Here are some other relevant links from around MLB…

  • The Nationals are in greater need of outfield depth than infield help or a catcher, a baseball source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
  • The Rays pulled B.J. Upton and prospect Desmond Jennings from their respective games, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter).  However, Upton says that he has not been traded, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb will undergo surgery on his right shoulder with the intent to pitch again in 2012, according to his agent Jonathan Maurer.  This will not be a full surgery of the rotator cuff but it will prevent him from throwing for four months.
  • The Tigers would need to eat some salary to move Brandon Inge but teams still believe that the veteran has value, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
  • The Reds scouted Jason Vargas and Doug Fister when the Mariners visited Toronto this week, a source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Indians team president Mark Shapiro said that he expects the club will make a move in the next ten days, tweets Nick Camino of WTAM 1100.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he’s looking for a bat to insert at the top of the order or in the middle of the lineup. However, the Reds are also open to acquiring pitching, either for the rotation or the bullpen. The Reds have lots of depth, but Jocketty says he “hates” trading prospects.
  • Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago hears that Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick is open to a role with the Cubs. Gillick said last week that he's open to taking on a full-time role as a team president at some point in the future.
  • MLB talent evaluators tell Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox have a number of players whose prospect status is starting to rise and who could become elite prospects within a year. Though the Adrian Gonzalez deal made a major dent in Boston’s farm system, Speier’s sources say the Red Sox still have secondary prospects who could be valuable trade bait this summer. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks and right-hander Anthony Ranaudo are among the organization’s top prospects.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirms that the Red Sox have had exploratory conversations with the Royals about Jeff Francoeur.

Stark On Shields, Melky, Soria, Marlins

Astros GM Ed Wade has been determining the market for his players, including Hunter Pence, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. Incoming owner Jim Crane urged Wade to do so in case appealing offers emerge. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors: 

  • Given Wade’s uncertain future in Houston, at least one executive suggests the GM needs to make a "job-saving deal" if he trades Pence.
  • The Rays are more likely to trade B.J. Upton than James Shields, though they realize Shields’ value has never been higher (the right-hander won't be going to the Bronx). 
  • The Phillies remain in contact with the Royals about Melky Cabrera, but the Royals have told teams they’re more likely to deal Jeff Francoeur. Kansas City is asking for a number three starter who’s nearly Major League ready in return for Cabrera.
  • Clubs that have inquired on Vance Worley have heard that he’s off of the market.
  • The Braves have shown some interest in Heath Bell, whose most aggressive suitors have been the Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies and Angels. The Padres are telling teams that they’ll need to “clearly surpass” the value of two compensatory draft picks in any deal for Bell, though they’re flexible in terms of the type of player they’d accept in return.
  • The Padres continue to field calls on Mike Adams, who will be tougher to obtain than Bell.
  • The Yankees, Phillies and Diamondbacks appear to have checked in on Joakim Soria.
  • The Red Sox are looking at everything, but aren’t approaching the deadline with much urgency, one AL executive told Stark.
  • Rival teams expect that the Dodgers will trade Jamey Carroll and there are indications that Rafael Furcal is drawing interest as well.
  • The Marlins, who hope to build momentum before opening their new stadium in 2012, are in a “holding pattern,” Stark reports. They’ve shown interest in third basemen.
  • Rival teams report that the Phillies say they won’t move Domonic Brown or top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart. Jonathan Singleton is available in the right deal, but the Phillies don’t expect to trade him for a rental player.
  • Stark reminds us that commissioner Bud Selig ruled out contraction at the All-Star Game.

Red Sox Not Pursuing Anyone Aggressively Right Now

The Red Sox are "not pursuing anyone aggressively right now," a source familiar with the team's thinking told WEEI's Alex Speier.  Instead, the team is currently trying to determine which internal solutions will work.  We've heard the Red Sox named as one of the most aggressive suitors for Carlos Beltran, but that may not be the case.

The Sox are still taking their normal approach of "inquiring about anyone who may make an appreciable difference to the team," in the words of the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo.  Cafardo says the Red Sox have inquired on Beltran, Ubaldo Jimenez, Felix Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Jeff Francoeur, Jeff Baker, Michael Cuddyer, Ty Wigginton, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, Jeremy Guthrie, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham, Conor Jackson, Ryan Spilborghs, Mike Adams, and others.  The team needs include starting pitching, a reliever, an outfielder, and a shortstop, but the Red Sox may prefer internal options in many cases.


Gammons Talks Trade Market

Peter Gammons spoke with a host of scouts, general managers, and MLB executives, all of which is compiled in his latest piece at MLB.com, which is chock full of trade-related news:

  • The Astros are asking for as much in return for Wandy Rodriguez as the Rockies are for Ubaldo Jimenez. General manager Ed Wade is in a difficult position, caught between an ownership change.
  • Half a dozen teams are looking for right-handed offense, but the Rockies won't trade Ryan Spilborghs and the Cubs are holding onto Jeff Baker. Gammons says that reduces that market to Conor Jackson, Josh Willingham, Reed Johnson, Lastings Milledge, and Jeff Francoeur. The Twins recently announced they won't trade Michael Cuddyer as well.
  • The Dodgers want to shed salary, but don't have much to shed besides Jamey Carroll and Hiroki Kuroda. Gammons spoke with two East coast executives that said Kuroda, who has a full no-trade clause, won't accept a deal to an East Coast team.
  • The Athletics will move veteran bats and probably a reliever or two.
  • The Mariners won't have a fire sale, and aren't likely to get much for Erik Bedard in light of his injury.
  • The Nationals are willing to trade Tyler Clippard, and have been continually pursuing Michael Bourn. They're also one of several teams who showed interest in Julio Borbon prior to his injury.
  • Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail is in a tough spot because he doesn't know which way owner Peter Angelos wants him to go, according to a rival GM.
  • Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario make it possible for the Rockies to trade Chris Iannetta, but the Red Sox seem content wth their catching options.

Rosenthal On Phillies, Adams, Royals, Guthrie

It's been a busy weekend for FOX's Ken Rosenthal, who brought us a pair of rumor-packed videos yesterday. He shared a few more tidbits this morning in his newest column, so let's check out the highlights….

  • The Phillies are telling teams that they can add about $2MM in salary, which would keep them below the luxury tax threshold. They would also prefer to trade for players they can control through at least 2012, which makes rentals like Carlos Beltran or Heath Bell less appealing.
  • Mike Adams is one player under control past this season who has drawn "serious interest" from the Phillies, as we heard yesterday. But the Yankees and Rangers, among other teams, are also very interested in the righty.
  • The Royals are pushing to trade Melky Cabrera rather than Jeff Francoeur.
  • The Mets attempted to restructure Francisco Rodriguez's contract before sending him to the Brewers, ultimately deciding that trading their closer was the "cleaner" solution.
  • When John Danks comes off the disabled list this week, trade talks involving Edwin Jackson could heat up. Given Jake Peavy's injury history though, moving Jackson would be a risky move for a White Sox team just four games back in the AL Central.
  • The Orioles are willing to listen to offers for Jeremy Guthrie, but would want pitching back in any trade.
  • While they'd like to add a bat, the Indians may need a starting pitcher even more, since they have some question marks at the back of their rotation.