FRIDAY: The Royals have announced, via press release, that they have requested unconditional release waivers on Francoeur.
SUNDAY: The Royals have designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The club has recalled second baseman Johnny Giavotella to take Francoeur's roster spot and take over as the regular at the keystone (according to another Dutton tweet).
The oft-criticized Francoeur, 29, has largely been a disappointment since a promising start to his career with the Braves. Francoeur originally signed with Kansas City before the 2011 season, signing a one-year, $2.5MM deal. He delivered a solid campaign that year, slashing .285/.329/.476 and contributing 20 home runs and 22 stolen bases.
Francoeur's work in 2011 led to the Royals giving him a two-year, $13.5MM extension in August of that year. Needless to say, that deal has not panned out for K.C. While Francoeur hit 16 long balls last year, he slashed just .235/.287/.378 as the team's regular right fielder. After the team traded away highly regarded outfield prospect Wil Myers in the offseason, Francoeur remained entrenched in right and continued to struggle this season. His legendary arm was not enough to make up for a .209/.250/.324 line over 192 plate appearances this season. Over the last two seasons, Fangraphs credits Francoeur with costing the Royals 2.2 wins against a replacement level player. The Royals will remain on the hook for the remainder of the $6.75MM they owe Francoeur for this season, assuming they cannot find a taker for his contract.