FanPost

Random Acquisition Proposal: Julio Franco

The last active position player from RBI Baseball was recently designated for assignment... could he be a worthwhile acquisition for the Twins?

I'm proposing the Twins acquire Julio Franco, who the Braves designated for assignment when they acquired Mark Texiera.  In my scenario, Franco would either be claimed off waivers or traded for an conditional prospect (like the Bret Boone deal), and the Twins would send down Luis Rodriguez to make room on the 25-man roster.  Yes, I know Franco's almost 49 years old.  Yes, I know he's only hitting .221/.324/.291 this year.  But I'm serious about this.  Here's an (admittedly off-the-cuff) analysis of pluses and minuses.

Pluses:

  1. Have you seen the Twins' bench?  With the standard Twins starting lineup, the only decent bench bat is the backup catcher, and although Gardy's been better about having both Redmond and Mauer in the lineup, it still wouldn't hurt to have another option available.
  2. That horrific stat line could be an issue of small sample size.  Julio's poor results this year have been in extremely limited at bats (just over 100 PA).  As recently as two years ago, he put up an OPS near .800, and even the .700 he managed last year is a step up from Tyner at DH.
  3. Really, will we miss L-Rod?  Punto's move to the utility role has made Rodriguez pretty much redundant, as the Twins can back up any infield position with Punto or Cirillo.
  4. I'd assume the Twins could basically get him for free, since the Braves will be letting him go anyway.  I'm not sure of the 40-man roster situation, although I'd assume there's an opening thanks to the Castillo trade.
  5. Karma - it seems like having the oldest player in the league on your team should be a positive force for your team somehow.
Minuses:
  1. Did I mention that he's almost 49?  That is older than both players who were inducted into the Hall of Fame this week.  He's not getting any younger, and it's very possible that his struggles this year aren't a product of small sample size - they're a product of being old.
  2. He's already been released by two teams this year... obviously they haven't found his performance acceptable.
  3. The desire has been for a power bat... and Julio ain't it.  His career high in homeruns is 20, and he hasn't had half that in over a decade (although he did hit 9 in 2005).
  4. It's not a guaranteed upgrade by any means.  Julio would likely be taking at bats away from Ford and Tyner (DH and PH), and he's not outperforming either of them so far this year.
In my opinion, the pluses outweigh the negatives just enough - an upgrade is an upgrade, no matter how small, and it'd probably be close to free.

TwinkieTown, tell me why this is a bad idea.

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