Tuesday, September 9, 2008

#730 John Franco

Why this card is awesome: Because somebody's wearing Chris Sabo's goggles! Also, what is that knobby thing behind the fence?

Also, that's s pretty bad trade for the Dodgers mentioned on the back. Franco went on to have a very long and productive career. Landestoy had 22 hits over parts of two seasons for the Dodgers.

It's also kind of interesting to see what Cincinnati did with Franco. Eventually, they traded him for Randy Myers and Kip Gross. They traded Myers and turned him into Bip Roberts (WAAHHHH! MORE BIPS!!) Meanwhile they packaged Gross with Eric Davis and picked up Tim Belcher and John Wetteland. Belcher was later traded to the White Sox for Johnny Ruffin and Jeff Pierce. Wetteland was later traded with Bill Risley to Montreal for Dave Martinez, Scott Ruskin, and Willie Greene. Greene got traded straight up for Jeffrey Hammonds. Hammonds was packaged with Stan Belinda and traded to Colorado for Dante Bichette. Later, they traded Bichette to Boston for Chris Reitsma and a minor leaguer. Reitsma was flipped to Atlanta for Jung Bong and a minor leaguer named Bubba. Bong was released in 2006.

Whew, that's a long chain.

Cool stat: Franco has the most career games pitched without ever making a start.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Franco comes up for the HOF vote. It seems that voters don't really know how to handle closers yet, with guys like Sutter and Gossage getting in fairly late, and Lee Smith not getting much support so far. Franco was the active saves leader for 7 years after Smith retired although he led the league only 3 times. His HOF stats on B-R.com are weird. His HOF Standards are only 11.0, with an average HOFer at 50. But his HOF Monitor, a better judge of how likely he is to be elected, is 124.0, with a likely HOFer at 100.


David said...

Johnny Franco belongs on that list of best players traded before they reached the majors. Here's my updated list:

1. John Smoltz
1a. Jeff Bagwell
3. Curt Schilling
4. Fred McGriff
5. John Franco
6. Jason Bay?

David said...

Oops, just remembered Big Papi. I'd put him just below John Franco for now.

MMayes said...

The Dodgers ought to be horsewhipped for that trade. Landestoy was doing nothing with the Reds and did nothing the year before (OPS+ of 38 anyone?). The only reason they wanted Landestoy was for depth behind young Steve Sax and aging Bill Russell, but they already had Derrell Thomas to do that and Dave Anderson developing in Albuquerque. Not that Derrell Thomas is an All-Star or anything, but Landestoy makes him look like Cal Ripken. Moreover, the Dodgers knew Landestoy well enough to know what they were getting. They originally had him and then dumped his sorry ass on the Astros (along with Jeffrey Leonard, who hadn't developed yet) for Joe Ferguson. The Astros were the Dodgers' rivals for the West from 1980-1982, so they saw enough of Landestoy to know they didn't need him. Franco, meanwhile, was one of several developing pitchers that was disappointing at Albuquerque. Whatever. You blow one every now and then, but I'll bet they could have used Franco in the late 80's.

night owl said...

The Dodgers signed Rafael Landestoy as a non-drafted free agent in 1972! Like many teams I'm sure, the Dodgers seemingly reacquired players simply because they were already familiar with their abilities. (After all it's easier than actually doing research on other teams' players!)

Karma caught up with the Dodgers after the 1970s. Ever since they fleeced teams in trades during that decade (L.A. came out on top in deals for Tommy John, Mike Marshall, Andy Messersmith, Burt Hooton, Jim Wynn, Dusty Baker and Reggie Smith), they've been paying the price. I count precious few trades since 1980 in which they did better than their trade partner. Meanwhile they lost Rick Sutcliffe, Ron Cey, Dave Stewart, Sid Fernandez, John Franco, Pedro Martinez, Henry Rodriguez, Paul Konerko, Ted Lilly, Edwin Jackson and Dioner Navarro in exchange for not much.

Mike S said...

Franco /=/ HOF'er.