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01 Feb

Jeff Francoeur Buys New York Mets

NEW YORK (AP): In a surprising turn of events, Major League outfielder Jeff Francoeur has purchased a controlling interest in the New York Mets from the former owners, the Wilpon Family. The purchase, effective immediately, of 69 percent of the team was for a reported $550 million.

Francoeur, who played for the Mets during the 2009 and 2010 seasons after beginning his career with the Atlanta Braves, was traded to the American League champion Texas Rangers in August and since has signed with the Kansas City Royals. The purchase of a Major League baseball franchise by an active player is not allowed under baseball’s operating agreement but Commissioner Bud Selig announced that he would waive the rule because “Hey, it’s Jeff Francoeur, everybody likes him.”

As his first act as owner, Francoeur announced that he would retain the recently hired Sandy Alderson as General Manager but didn’t want any of “that walking crap” to enter into player evaluations. Alderson then announced the trade of All-Star third baseman David Wright and reliever Manny Acosta to the Royals for Francoeur and fellow outfielder Melky Cabrera. A trade of a recently signed free agent is banned by the Major League Collective Bargaining Agreement, but Francoeur was able to secure a waiver with brief phone calls to the Commissioner and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association.

Francoeur has earned slightly under $10 million during his playing career, plus an unknown amount from endorsements. When asked how he was able to secure the needed $550 million to purchase the team, Francoeur replied that “I just went into the bank and asked for it, and they gave me an unsecured, interest-free loan. Hey, I’m Jeff Francoeur. People like to give me stuff.” It was later revealed that the bank in question was the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The Wilpon family has suffered recent financial reverses due in part to its involvement with financial schemer Bernie Madoff and others. When asked why after attempting to sell a minority stake they chose to sell a controlling interest, Fred Wilpon asked rhetorically, “Who can say no to Jeff? Hey, he’s Jeff Francoeur!”

The Wilpons maintain a minority interest in the ballclub but are reportedly in negotiations to sell this remainder to pop star Justin Bieber.

61 Responses to “Jeff Francoeur Buys New York Mets”

  1. 1
    TheFlyingBernard Says:

    I think my calendar is two months behind.

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Look, I had two ideas for AFD, and this one was in danger of being overtaken by events.

  3. 3
    Big D Says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good February Fool’s joke.

  4. 4
    IthacaBraves Says:

    I can’t believe you haven’t given us a nice writeup on Rodrigo Lopez yet.

  5. 5
    sansho1 Says:

    “Francoeur has earned slightly under $10 million during his playing career”

    Terrifying.

  6. 6
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    “Slowly, I began to realize that when white people are alone, they give things to each other for free.”

  7. 7
    Mac Thomason Says:

    All facts are true except those I made up. According to B-R, Jeffy has made $9,647,000 in salary in his career. He may have picked up some in bonuses, too — probably $50K for his Gold Glove, for instance.

  8. 8
    Mac Thomason Says:

    BTW, Jeffy had a 126 OPS+ in his part-season callup year, 120 in 2009 after joining the Mets, and 124 with the Rangers. If he could just get traded enough, he’d wind up in the Hall of Fame. Wearing a U-Haul cap.

  9. 9
    Ryan D Says:

    I don’t blame them really. If I worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City I’d lend Frenchy the money too, just so he’d get the hell out of there.

  10. 10
    justhank Says:

    The mind of Mac is a wondrous, terrifying thing.

  11. 11
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Hey, today is Kent Mercker’s birthday!

    By the way, I asked John Sickels about Matt Young and Jordan Schafer. His answer:

    “Well, both are possible…Shafer definitely has better tools and more power potential, but Young stays healthy and has better makeup from what I’ve heard. I don’t expect either of them to be particularly interesting but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Young do more.”

  12. 12
    geekbot5000 Says:

    You really had me rolling with that one Mac, keep up the good work!

  13. 13
    Johnny Says:

    Young must not use as much rouge and eye liner.

  14. 14
    Tom Says:

    Sickels had this to say about Mike Minor:

    slightly better than league performance….say 12-12, 3.98 or something like that

    That would be very, very nice for a #5.

  15. 15
    IthacaBraves Says:

    Does it seem like Braves fans are proportionately more interested in minor league baseball and prospects than fans of other teams? I feel like I usually see more Braves related questions on those types of Q&A’s than questions for any other team, I also feel like I see lots of questions about Braves minor leaguers on Q&A’S that are about Major League Baseball players (the one on mlbtr for example). Are we just more mobilized on the interweb because we have a rabid national fanbase from the TBS era and yet we’re ignored by the ESPN?

  16. 16
    Marc Schneider Says:

    “Francoeur has earned slightly under $10 million during his playing career”

    Terrifying.”

    I don’t know for sure, but it is possible that Jeff Francouer has made more in his career than Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle combined (and probably several other great players).

  17. 17
    Mac Thomason Says:

    According to B-R, Willie (who was the highest-paid player in baseball for much of his career) made $1,858,200 in salary in the years they have records for. He probably made just about $2 million. The same for Hank (whose career was slightly longer and slightly later); they have him down for $1,565,000 but only have data for four years before 1970. Mickey’s career is shorter and he’s listed at $1,010,000 with only a couple of missing years. So Jeffy has made just about twice what those three made in their entire careers.

  18. 18
    jj3bagger Says:

    A Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City loan officer quoted Jeff as saying ‘if the interest rate on a loan is so important, why don’t they put it in bold or highlight it on the form or something?’

  19. 19
    justhank Says:

    It’s taken me this long, but I miss the Dixie Chicks.

  20. 20
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Formerly titled Fifty Years of Underachievement and Urine.

  21. 21
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’ve been thinking about the career salary record. It’s probably held by A-Rod now, I’m sure. Willie Mays probably held it still at the dawn of the free agency era when he was quickly supplanted by Catfish Hunter; after 1978 or so it probably changed every couple of years. Before Willie, I’d guess Musial held it. Before him, probably the Babe still, before him, Cobb. I’d guess that before Cobb it was Cap Anson, but he was the manager/part-owner/all-around-grand-poobah of the team, so that’s not quite the same.

  22. 22
    Mark Says:

    I guess it makes sense for Francouer since his career had gotten to the point where the Royals wanted him and could afford him.

  23. 23
    Smitty Says:

    Sp given that, is Francouer a more successful baseball player

  24. 24
    Mac Thomason Says:

    He successfully was born after 1960.

  25. 25
    spike Says:

    @21, damn – http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/leaders_salaries.shtml There’s a huge bump from #1 to #2 in career totals – that is going to get bigger.

    /good god – what’s left on Arods contract would put him in 4th on this list. And it’s not even a part of the career number yet.

  26. 26
    jj3bagger Says:

    Did anybody else get the memo that it’s Ex-Met day on MLB Network’s Hot Stove? Leiter, Zeile and Piazza. Gag me now. Leiter just called Chipper a ‘borderline’ HOFer. Channel changed and a giant FU to Al Leiter. Piazza is giving tips on being a defensive catcher! If you’ve ever wanted to know how not to throw out baserunners, turn on MLB Network now.

  27. 27
    sansho1 Says:

    @25

    Chipper, assuming he plays this season, moves to #7 on the all-time salary list. Would not have guessed that.

  28. 28
    kc Says:

    You are the best Mac. You are absolutely the best.

  29. 29
    kc Says:

    If JS is still our GM, we can already start thinking about saying good bye to JJ and Hanson. I didn’t realize Hanson has changed his agent to Boras.

  30. 30
    Mac Thomason Says:

    On the other hand, Wren has no problem with the Borgas. Heck, Boras represents Rodrigo Lopez; it’s not like you can’t find an equivalent non-Boras pitcher.

  31. 31
    Bethany Says:

    Love it, Mac. I needed a good Frenchy dig.

    Guess who’s the newest writer for notgraphs?

  32. 32
    ryan c Says:

    from dob’s new piece…

    Jones also revealed Tuesday that he will wear low-top spikes this year, after years of playing in high-tops. He was wearing high-tops both times when he blew out his left knee.

    “I’d much rather sprain an ankle than do that [again],” he said. “So I’m going to low-tops, and I’m pulling up the pants. I’m going old-school.”

    Chipper going back to the look he came into the league with. i like it.

  33. 33
    kc Says:

    @30 If that’s the way to keep good relationship with Boras, I can live with that…as long as it is not another Derek Lowe.

  34. 34
    c. shorter Says:

    31 — You?! That’s awesome. Congrats!

  35. 35
    Bethany Says:

    @34 Yep, thanks ^_^

    @32 I’m always in favor of low tops vs. high tops, and I hope they do help keep him from getting catastrophically injured.

  36. 36
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Frenchy and the Mets were made for each other. I hope he comes back as their hitting coach in five years.

  37. 37
    jj3bagger Says:

    36 – If Jim Presley can become a hitting coach, there’s hope for Frenchy.

    I’m (oddly ?) very happy that Chipper is going with the socks up look, but maybe that’s because I wore #10 and pulled my socks up every baseball game that I played from sixth grade on.

    Congrats to Bethany, that’s awesome for you.

  38. 38
    ububba Says:

    Well done, Mac.

    For Mets fans, there are some pretty scary scenarios going around right now. Lotta uncertainty & distrust. Not breaking my heart, of course, but this is a club that appears to be crippled for the immediate future.

    A couple of really entertaining SEC hoops games tonight, but… boy, another late non-call impacts another nail-biter. Can’t believe they didn’t give Jenkins 3 FTs at the end of OT in the UF/Vandy game.

  39. 39
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Bethany, I’m so glad we’re colleagues at Fangraphs!

  40. 40
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    AAR–Thanks for the Sickels’ tip. I liked your question and added one of my own about Jacob Thompson. Unfortunately, his answer was not as optimistic as I might have liked.

    At least he is high on Freeman….

  41. 41
    Smitty Says:

    Congrats Bethany.

    I like how Chipper is going back old school

  42. 42
    BFedRec Says:

    That is an interesting list of highest paid players… and now I want a boxofficemojo-style adjusted for inflation one.

  43. 43
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @18,

    LOL!

    Babe Ruth still has the best line about salaries; when asked if it was right when he signed for more ($80,000) in 1930 than the President made, the Babe said, “I had a better year than he did.” Considering that was the beginning of the Great Depression, I would say he was correct. Now, of course, the 8th guy in the bullpen makes more than the POTUS (no politics here, just an observation). In fairness, the POTUS gets free housing and transportation.

  44. 44
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I googled to see how Ruth’s salary in 1930 would compare in today’s dollars. There are several different measures but in terms of (1) purchasing equivalence of food and housing–$1 million; (2) comparison to average unskilled wage–$2.5 million; (3) GDP per capital-$6 million; and (4)share of GDP–$15,000,000 today.

    So, in fact, A-Rod and several others are are making a hell of a lot more money than Babe Ruth did. In fact, Derek Lowe is making about what the Babe did in adjusted terms. This shows how the Reserve Clause depressed players’ salaries. Current players should genuflect in front of Marvin Miller’s portrait.

  45. 45
    Bethany Says:

    @39 Me too, Alex!

  46. 46
    Mac Thomason Says:

    To entertain myself, I am making up recruits and posting their commitments on Twitter. Already caught one guy taking me seriously.

  47. 47
    Smitty Says:

    @46,

    That is great. Tennessee is having a solid class coming in. Vandy, is doing well for Vandy.

  48. 48
    ububba Says:

    Much could be determined with Isaiah Crowell’s announcement at 1:35 today. Bama or UGA?

    Madoff, apparently, had a deep role with Mets finances over the years. Eg.—All that deferred money on contracts for folks like Bobby Bonilla was invested with Madoff. Messy.
    http://tinyurl.com/4a59jbe

  49. 49
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I guess Madoff was sort of the Jeff Francouer of financial advisers.

  50. 50
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, a guy from the athletic department of a college I won’t name but which rhymes with “OY!” wondered who the junior college quarterback I had signing with his school was.

  51. 51
    Adam M Says:

    Dave Cameron has an interesting take on the Lopez signing: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/rodrigo-lopez-better-than-you-think/

    While I obviously don’t love Lopez–or really like him at all–I’m heartened by how our guy is looking beyond ERA. Now, if only we can unload Kawakami for a decent price (cue: sigh).

  52. 52
    spike Says:

    For those who care about such things, Clemson is putting together a heck of a recruiting class today.

  53. 53
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Verbatim Ozzie Guillen Tweet of the day: “You so friking good”.

  54. 54
    csg Says:

    #48 – UGA for Crowell

  55. 55
    csg Says:

    I for one dont pay attention to twitter. How easy is it to follow? Seems like your seeing answers and trying to figure out what the questions were.

  56. 56
    JoeyT Says:

    Mac, your twitter today is hilarious.

  57. 57
    Smitty Says:

    Wonder if this guy will get to play in the Rose Bowl

    http://eye-on-recruiting.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/26895818/27349196

  58. 58
    DowneasterJC Says:

    No. Because he’ll probably end up at Florida.

  59. 59
    ububba Says:

    #54
    You are correct, sir.

    Welcome to Athens, Mr. Crowell. Hope you’re much better than Jasper Sanks or Caleb King.

  60. 60
    ryan c Says:

    I like going to DOB’s blog to get current information concerning the Braves, but man, that guy is such a douche.

  61. 61
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Newpost!

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