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Trade Deadline: Jeff Francoeur says playing for Red Sox would be ‘neat,’ but wants to stay with Royals

07.25.11 at 8:42 pm ET
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Jeff Francoeur

Jeff Francoeur has been through this before. Twice the 27-year-old outfielder has been dealt near trade deadlines, the most recent instance coming when he was traded from the Mets to Texas last August 31.

Here he is again, with the rumors swirling as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. This time, the Red Sox are the ones being whispered with the outfielder’s name.

“It would be neat,” Francoeur said of potentially playing with the Red Sox. “From a standpoint where my dad took a train with my grandpa for tons of games to Fenway. I was in high school and had a Boston Red Sox credit card. But I’m happy here, and I would like to play here.

“I enjoy Kansas City and I’ve told [Royals general manager] Dayton [Moore] I would like to stay there. I would like to be a part of it. But at the end of the day, you know how these things work and you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Francoeur — whose father hails from the Springfield area — is a logical fit for any team seeking right-handed-hitting outfield help. In 97 games, he is hitting .269 (.309 vs. lefties), with a 13 home runs and an OPS of .770. Also factored into the equation is that the Georgia native is on a one-year deal with KC worth $2.5 million that includes a $4 million mutual option.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Francoeur said. “To be honest with you dealing with it last year from the Mets and going to Texas it was a lot of fun, I got a chance to play in the playoffs. The last couple of years, I learned you just go out and play. Before you are checking the internet, trying to see what it says, but this year I’m just going to go out and play and if I get the call into [KC manager Ned Yost's] office I’ll see what’s going on.”

Ironically, it isn’t the first time Francoeur has drawn interest from the Red Sox. The team had significant interest in the then-Parkview (GA) High star during the 2002 draft before Atlanta swooped in and took him with the 23rd overall pick. Francoeur still, however, has fond memories of the process, which helped forge a lifelong friendship with Red Sox area scout Rob English (whom he still visits and goes catfish-fishing with.)

The Red Sox ultimately made do in the draft, talking Jon Lester (the pitcher Francoeur was scheduled to face off with Monday night) with their initial pick in ’02.

“The two teams I wanted to go to were the Red Sox and the Braves,” he said. “Looking back now I’m sure they were very happy with Lester.”

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