Phillies Trade Francisco to Blue Jays for Local Product

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, December 12, 2011 01:02 PM | Comments: 31
Analysis, News, Odds And Ends, Opinion, Posts

Ben Fran is off to Toronto.

UPDATE, 1:27 pm: Here is a tweet from Troy Renck of the Denver post:

“Phillies trade of Francisco opens up poential landing spot for Spilborghs. Phils have liked Spilborghs for a few years as RH bat off bench”

Spilborghs could be interesting, although his 2011 season was a terrible one. He hit just .210 with a .588 OPS, however, has shown to be a very good fourth or fifth outfielder in the past.


Ben Fran is no more. The Phillies have dealt him north of the border. Here is the announcement from the Phillies:

Outfielder Ben Francisco was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for left-hander Frank Gailey, the Phillies announced today.

Gailey, a 26-year-old native of Philadelphia, split last season between single-A Dunedin and double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays’ minor league system where he combined to go 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 relief appearances.  For his minor league career he has gone 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 games (one start).  Gailey, Toronto’s 23rd round selection in the June 2007 draft, attended Archbishop Carroll High School and West Chester University.

Francisco, 30, spent parts of three seasons with the Phillies (2009-11) where he hit .259 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 225 games.  He appeared in 17 career postseason games for the Phillies and belted the sixth postseason pinch-hit home run in club history in Game 3 of the 2011 NLDS against St. Louis.

With the transaction, the Phillies now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

This frees up some space on the 40-man and gives the ability for the Phillies to add another potential part for 2012. What will they do with that space? They’re also off the hook for the $2 million-plus Francisco could have made in arbitration.

Good luck to Ben Fran. We’ll always have Game 3.

Gailey still holds West Chester University school records (by the way, that’s my alma mater, so I’m proud). His 242 strikeouts and 24-9 record during his time at the school are quite impressive. He has been slow to rise through the ranks of the minor leagues, but is showing signs of progress. He is not a power pitcher – he sports a 90-91 mph fastball and relies more on location. However, he’s strikes out nearly a batter per inning although he wasn’t blessed with an overpowering arm.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1599 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Sean

    Have to say I’m going to miss Ben. One of the good guys you root to do well but falls short. Hopefully he’ll get another shot w/ the Jays.

  • Posts: 0 FACE

    Anthony Lozano drinks his own urine. Somewhere, right now, that man is knee deep in hookers.

  • Posts: 1183 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Goodbye Frisco! Overall, I’m grateful we got him in the Lee trade. He helped us in many ways but ultimately proved expendable as this team moves forward. Don’t know much about Gailey but on the surface he seems to be alright.

    J-roll: he decided to play the free agent game and it looks like it’ll backfire. 3 years plus an option should get it done.

    Sherrill: I’d love to see us sign him, but I have no idea what kind of price tag we’re talking about. I don’t wanna see us overwork Bastardo or any of our young guys again.

  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Francisco will do well in Toronto. He was a good guy, but just became expendable. I am glad he was traded rather than being cut.

  • Posts: 4138 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Good trade, I think they were going to non-tender him anyway, might as well get something in return.

    Aramis Ramirez looks like he’s signing with Milwaukee. So what do they do with arb. eligible McGehee?

    • Posts: 0 Frank Riccard

      I’ve been asking this question for months. McGehee has long been rumored to be a non-tender candidate. The Phils could certainly use some controllable, inexpensive youth on the infield. McG has show some really solid power and consistency. Now w/ A-Ram at 3rd for the Brewers, I would imagine McG is either going to be non-tendered, or will be expendable and easily acquired.

      I’d really like to see this happen.

    • Posts: 399 Ian Riccaboni

      Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

      Good catch. Didn’t realize that McGehee had been around long enough for arb. already. He would be an interesting option for the Phils but I think his D really limits what he can contribute with the team. Bench already seems a little overcrowded at this point even with Francisco gone so it would be challenging to find opportunities for him unless Polanco, or Utley with Polanco moving to second, really bites the dust and even then, I think you’d see a combination of Valdez/Orr/Martinez/Wigginton at third. I think Francisco’s departure does give Valdez more leeway to stick salary-wise and Martinez to start the year in LV.

      • Posts: 4138 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Looks like it’s moot- Pirates got him already.

  • Posts: 0 poopyfarts

    I just graduated from west chester last spring!! good to see some local talent on the team

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Fare thee well, Ben Francisco. Fare thee well, mighty warrior.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 4138 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    For some reason I thought Spilborghs was older, seems like he’s been a pain in the butt forever. But he’s only 31.

  • Posts: 2067 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Sorry to see Benny go – not.
    Honestly, I hope he fairs better in Canada.

  • Posts: 573 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Good trade. I think we can count on 1 hand the number of times Frisco came through for us in the clutch in the last few years. The only one I really remember was the 3 run homer in the NLDS…Gailey has some pretty good numbers it seems 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 appearances, but the 2011 numbers not as good at 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 appearances, but still a 3.41 ERA is pretty good.

    Pat, what year did you graduate from WCU? I am also an alumn of WCU.

  • Posts: 2 fuhs

    Avatar of fuhs

    Amazing move by Ruben. You’d think Toronto could have waited for the non-tender deadline, like Lefty said. Even if we never use Gailey, getting him is almost as impressive as when Benny Fresh was tossed in with Cliff.

    Is Toronto the new Houston? If so, I think I know what 3B/OF Philly might trade for next….

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Good luck to Benny.

    I guess the Phils will need another body until Howard returns. Not much out there so Spilborgs would be as good as the next guy.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Armis to brewers for 3 years 33 mil. Ruin what the hell you terrible gm

    • Posts: 1183 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      I think that’s a good deal for the Brewers. If Rollins ends up signing for more than that, YIKES… we missed a great chance to revamp our lineup.

      • Posts: 573 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Everyday that goes by and everyday that another players signs for less money, JRoll is losing out on more money. Chances are if he signed before Pujols he would have gotten a 3 year close to 39 Mill contract. He will undoubtedly be closer to 3/33

    • Posts: 573 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Seriously? LOL. Same ole Jeff different day. LOL. There is nothing wrong with trying to keep JRoll (as long as it isnt 5 years like he wants) and not go after Ramirez. Would you rather have Ramirez and JRoll and not Hamels? Its not even like the current 3rd basemen (Gold Glove if you didn’t hear) is horrible. We are also paying him less than Ramirez, so you can’t really complain about that part. Ramirez 3/33 where as Polanco was 3/18. Ramirez has power over Polanco. Ramirez 2011 season was a career high for AVG and Polanco had a down year with injuries. Polanco is still a .301 lifetime hitter and Ramirez is still a .284 lifetime hitter. This is also a 3 year deal at at 33. Polanco signed a 3 year deal at age 34.

  • Posts: 0 mike from ohio

    im going to miss ben francisco,,,but its time to move and get fresh talent

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I think Ben Fran will be a serviceable guy. I thought RAJ wanted to keep him? Lol….

  • Posts: 0 Frank Riccard

    I wonder if Ben Fran will become the second utility RH OF’er to put up insane power numbers for Toronto. Anyway, happy trails Benny Fresh.

  • Posts: 0 HotelBar

    I liked Ben Fran but this move is understandable. Does anyone remember the great diving catch he made in the 2009 post-season for us? I believe it was against Colorado and it stopped a rally or dented a rally they were having, which was a big part of us keeping it close enough to rally and win in the 9th. Then I think he made another very good catch vs. L.A. in the LCS. He never really got it going consistently with the bat, but he always played great D. Let’s not forget that.

    • Posts: 0 George

      Part of Francisco’s problem was that he did NOT always play great D. His defense was spectacular at time, and terrible at others. He was as inconsistent in the field as he was at the plate.

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Ryan Spilborg’s career stats:

    home: .306/.379/.483 (.862 OPS)
    away: .239/.313/.366 (.679 OPS)

    This is where I remind people that no, CBP is not Coors East, but in fact has been playing neutral for several years now: http://www.thegoodphight.com/2011/11/21/2485197/phillies-citizens-bank-park-not-a-hitters-haven

    • Posts: 573 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Of course CBP is not Coors East. Higher altitude and no humidity will help to show a little more “pop” in the ball. It is also not the wiffle ball park known as Yankees Stadium. I do not disagree that CBP is not a complete hitters park, and is is neutral. I have been saying for years that at the very least the Phillies bats hit close to the same number of Home Runs Away as they do Home. Honestly though, no offense, providing a link to your own blog doesn’t really mean it is correct, or a credible source. Several sources on the blog were credible, but I am not so sure I would include Brian Kenny as a credible source. I have not been overly impressed with Clubhouse Conifidential, and have not been sold on Advanced Metrics as he strictly uses completely ignoring stats and other factors. Only in the comments did you go into environmental factors which could alter the “pop” on the ball. I am also surprised you did not go into other factors as age and or injury’s to some of the players, or change of players. Injury’s to people like Howard and Utley, losing Burrell, and then even injuries to the already aged Ibanez, who oddly enough benefited significantly by moving to CBP (SLG % increased from 2008 to 2009 from .479 to .552, or 23 HR’s in 707 PA’s (635 AB’s) to 34 HR’s in 565 PA’s (500 AB’s). Hoever, also noteable for Raul is his drop in AVG. and drop in 2b’s. That can be argued by either difference in pitching between the AL and the NL, but also could be argued park factors. Those hits which were doubles before increased to Home Runs, and some other hits in the other park would turn to outs. Then the age and injury factors fall to Raul, dropping to career AVG, which considering the difference in years, is partly age, but also, he has had several injuries since the first have of 2008 where he was on complete fire which did affect his swing, and would affect power. That seems to be the one of the few problem with the Phillies. Aging, and injured since 2008. Then points to another thought. The fences were moved in 2005, but 2006 and 2007 still had not seen any maj changes in production, but in 2008 there was some affect. 2009-2011 there was an increase to the amount of time on the DL.

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Kenny wasn’t referenced as an authoritative source. He was listed as someone in the media who has noticed that the data doesn’t match the “bandbox” narrative.

        Regarding the player changes, park factors are based on comparing home stats vs. away stats, so are you saying that those player changes affected their home stats more than their away stats?

      • Posts: 573 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Please do not take my first reply as an attack. Overall like I said, I agree and I had also stated ” I have been saying for years that at the very least the Phillies bats hit close to the same number of Home Runs Away as they do Home.” Mostly because trolls loved to say that the Phillies are home run hitter because of the ballpark. I was just saying that your blog only skimmed certain aspects. The fact that you did that much research on it and provided some of the tables. I would have loved to see those sources and websites to be able to dive into them as well. I was going into other aspects which probably could have been expanded on, which to me, the most noteable was the age and injuries which would have affected not only their home, but their away stats as well. Which was also pointed out looking specifically at at Ibanez when his number dropped off the face of the planet from above .300 AVG with approx 22 homers before the All Star Break, had the groin injury which would affect his swing, and power. Not to mention his age would have affected his resiliance to bouncing back from the injuries. I was more saying that it was very interesting his spike in production the first have of 2009, but I have a feeling that was more due to pitching. AL was known for having better pitching at that time. After all Lee and Halladay were both still in the AL at that time. As I look at the splits for several players since 2008 it is VERY interesting the change from year to year. Each you, much as you and I agree, there is only a very slight bump in power home vs away for most players each year, except Ryan Howard in 2009. In 2008 he had 26 homers at home to 22 homers away, however in 2009 he had 18 homers at home to 27 away. Very interesting to see a switch of that magnitude. Looking at others in more depth including Raul and Utley, each did have more doubles away and more homers at home, each, by only a slight amount. It is neutral overall, but it does tend to very slightly edge the hitters, but agree, it is not an all out “bandbox” tpye park.

      • Posts: 573 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Sorry, some of that last comment was crtyptic. I am at work trying to work and type and do that research. LOL. It is times like these that I am thankful yo have downtime at my job and be able to relax. :)

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Brian Sr, understood, I also a bit curt because of work up above.

        The source for the data is ESPN’s team stats (both home and away, and both batting and pitching), found here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/year/2011/seasontype/2/league/nl

        I downloaded all of that for the years 2008-2011, and combined it to create a single data set and calculate park factors for the 4-year period.

        ESPN’s annual park factors can be found here, as you may know: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor

        Regarding all of the player changes that you note, they would have to have changed their home and away stats differently. i.e. if they previously hit better at home than away (causing the PF to be far above 1.0), in order to drive the PF down to about 1.0, the changes in players would have had to cause them to worsen much more at home than on the road.

        And the biggest shift, in at least home run park factors happened between 2007 and 2008, while the changes you list appear to have occurred more recently.

        Also don’t forget that park factors compare stats by both teams in the Phillies home games vs. the stats by the same teams in the Phillies’ away games, so if you’re looking for player-specific causes for changes in park factors, you have to also look at how their pitchers changed from the early 2004-07 period to the more recent 2008-11 period. Obviously they have better pitchers now, but that’s not enough to change park factors, since the same pitchers pitch home and away, and the park factors simply compare home and away stats. The pitchers would have had to improve much more in the Phillies’ home games than they did in their away games, in order to move the park factors.

  • Posts: 0 Psujoe

    Good post schmwnkman. Pass on Spillborg

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