As this offseason has unfolded, and really going back to this past season, it became more and more clear that outfielder Ben Francisco did not fit in to the Phillies plans.
That was made reality today as the Phillies have traded Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league pitching prospect Frank Gailey.
Last season, after being given the opportunity to replace the departed Jayson Werth after having a nice spring, Francisco’s performance declined to the point that not only wasn’t he starting, he was barely playing at all. If they couldn’t trade him, the Phillies very likely would have non-tendered Francisco and let him go straight out.
Francisco was a throw-in from the Indians in the trade that first brought Cliff Lee to Philadelphia, and the reserve outfielder played hard from day one and was a nice enough bench player and teammate. But with his performance bottoming out and the Phillies adding reserve outfield options in Laynce Nix and Ty Wiggington, and with the emergence of John Mayberry Jr. as a viable major league player, there really was no place left for Benny Fresh.
Coming back to the Phillies is Gailey, 25, a marginal prospect who actually went to West Chester. It’s unlikely he ever makes the big club but it’s always good to add a lefty reliever for system depth. And they were likely willing to let go of Francisco for nothing so getting anything back is a plus.
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