Juan Francisco Claimed by Red Sox


Juan Francisco has been claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox, ending a brief career with the Toronto Blue Jays that saw the odd high, along with the lowest possible lows.

The 3B/DH is arbitration eligible, and has been projected to make approximately $2M in 2015.  As Gregor Chisholm points out, Francisco could have been a likely candidate for a non-tender from Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays, and the same could still happen with the Red Sox.

Despite reports today that the Boston Red Sox have a “90%” chance of signing Pablo Sandoval, the addition of the similarly-bodied Francisco could act as a fallback plan, albeit a horribly discouraging one, in case Boston requires further depth at the position.  Big Juan could be a great match with the short porch in right field at Fenway Park, but to hit home runs, one must do something that was rarely accomplished by Juan Francisco in the second half of 2014: hit the baseball. 

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For a time early in 2014, Francisco looked like an incredible find for the Blue Jays and a potential power bat in the middle of their lineup.  He hit a wall quickly and with force, however, when the league learned how gravely he struggled to hit breaking balls.  With a slash line of .220 / .291 / .456, Juan Francisco contributed 16 HR and 43 RBI over 320 plate appearances.

Now, this isn’t to say that Juan Francisco is a ball player completely without any redeeming quality.  As a bench bat who strictly faces right-handed pitching, with a lot of fine tuning to his game and a quality hitting coach, Francisco may be able to contribute some power numbers.  Francisco offers nothing defensively, though, and as an organization, this is no great loss for the Blue Jays.

So rest easy, Blue Jays fans.  Juan is gone, finally, and the best may still be yet to come.