It seemed like just a week ago that Ben Francisco had an explosive first career start for the Cleveland Indians, clubbing a game-winning home run in in the bottom of the ninth to give the Indians a 2-1 win and Shawn Camp a teary-eyed bed time.
It's sad I remember that.
Ah shoot, the Rays were the Devil Rays too many years ago for me to go anywhere with this joke. But the trade of Ben Francisco to the Philadelphia Phillies does not feel that long ago.
What do you mean it was Cliff Lee that was traded to the Phillies? No no no, I distinctly remember that it was Ben Francisco, who is Cliff Lee?
Either way, today is a new day and on this day, in addition to making the Ryan Raburn signing official, the Indians brought in another outfielder to the bench mix, signing Ben Francisco to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league Spring Training.
Here's my question for you on this Monday afternoon. What would you have thought you'd see first after that Lee trade to the Phillies a few years ago? Jason Knapp in an Indians uniform or Ben Francisco in an Indians uniform?
What a kick in the face that is.
Francisco has traveled the globe in three short years. He spent the rest of 2009 and two more seasons in Philadelphia, carving out his own small valuable role with the Phillies as a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter. In 2011 the Phillies traded him during the offseason and last year, he was traded two more times during the season. Toronto held onto him for half the year, before dealing him in the mega-swap of players you know nothing about between the Jays and Astros.
After that the Astros sent him in a post-non-waiver deadline deal to the Tampa Bay Rays. And since he's been traveling the world looking for a team that doesn't want to trade him. Not really, but at least he's been traded multiple times and not waived multiple times. Russ Canzler envy.
Francisco is a career .257 hitter with a .326 on-base percentage, 49 home runs, 189 RBI, and 30 stolen bases. Last year he played in 82 games between the three squads, hit .240 with a .285 on-base percentage, and two home runs.
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