Francoeur: “I want to be here”
Dogged in late 2008 by a series of rumors intimating that he did not enjoy playing in Queens, Mets outfielder Ryan Church reported to Spring Training the next year sporting an “I Love New York” t-shirt.
Jeff Francoeur, the man for whom the Mets traded Church last season, is heading down a similar path.
Mere days after telling both the Daily News and the Post that he would welcome a trade elsewhere — read: Kansas City — if it would result in increased playing time, Francoeur nixed that talk following Tuesday’s victory at Citi Field.
“I want to be here,” Francoeur said. “I’ve said it from Day 1, I like it here. I enjoy playing. It’s a fun place to play. It’s a crazy place to play, but it’s a fun place to play.”
And it should remain Francoeur’s home for a while, as it appears increasingly unlikely that the Mets will deal Francoeur prior to Saturday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. Even before this week, the Mets were worried that trading Francoeur would make them vulnerable in the event that Carlos Beltran re-injured his surgically repaired right knee. Now, Jason Bay is out indefinitely with a mild concussion, providing the Mets with a clear reminder of why Francoeur remains valuable to them.
“You like to have good players, and Jeff is definitely a good player,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.
In other words, don’t expect him to go anywhere.