First, let's get this out of the way. Jeff Francoeur is available. JEFF FRANCOEUR IS AVAILABLE. The Royals designated him for assignment. Move the alarm to FRENCHCON 2, and check on your supplies.
You know, as a bench bat, I guess he ...
Blanco - CF
Scutaro - 2B
Francoeur - LF
Posey - 1B
Pence - RF
Sandoval - 3B
Crawford - SS
Quiroz - C
"Welllll, Frenchy's been swingin' the bat better, I've liked what I've seen. And there's a left-hander on the hill ... say, look at that, we're facing lefties in 18 of the next 19 games ... so it's important to get him in the lineup."
Henry Schulman helped pooh-pooh the idea, mercifully:
When I've floated Francouer's name in the past to the #sfgiants honchos, I got a lot of scrunched faces and worries about his OF play.— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) June 30, 2013
Yes. His outfield play. Can't have that around here.
That was before Francoeur was free, though. Now that he isn't likely to cost a player in return, maybe the scrunched faces shift to mnnnhhmaybe faces. And the Giants are looking for a right-handed (or red-headed) outfielder, which is something you would expect. Despite Juan Perez's fantastic defense (and his two walks on Sunday!), he isn't much of a contributor as a hitter. The Giants can use an upgrade there. In theory. With the right fit. Who isn't Jeff Francoeur. Which I think the Giants know.
Other teams have posited the theory that Francoeur could help them. Every one of them has come out of the lab with singed hair and a burnt lab coat. Really, the only team that had it even close to right was the 2010 Rangers; put him deep on the bench, and hope he does one of those 15-for-16 stretches he can rip off every so often. But even if you do that, you can look up to see Francoeur going 3-for-24 in the playoffs because the manager is actually playing him for some reason.
As of right now, there's no reason to think Francoeur is a match for the Giants other than a) he's available, b) he's right-handed, and c) it would be kind of hilarious in a completely morbid way. But the timing is awfully suspicious. The Giants have passed these tests before. They were looking for utility infielders when Yuniesky Betancourt was available, and they let him slide on by. So even though we think we know the twists in the screenplay, the Giants can still surprise us.
Still, I'm giving a 56-percent chance of Francoeur being a Giant before next week. That number was pulled from my nether regions, but when you make it bold like that, it sure seems like it means something. The Giants need a right-handed outfielder, and there's one with a little power on the market. Other than the part where he can't help major-league teams in the slightest, maybe he can help the Giants!