While the Yankees wait to hear from Scott Hairston, they are also one of five teams who have expressed an interest in another free agent outfielder, Ben Francisco, according to Mark Hale of the NY Post.
Hale reports that Francisco’s agent John Boggs told him that he’s currently trying to figure out which team provides him with the “best opportunity” and the one “who will offer the most at-bats.”
The thing that makes Francisco different from other outfielders the Yankees have been interested in this offseason is that he doesn’t hit lefties very well. Sure, he’s a right handed hitter, but he actually hit much better against righties last season, .265/.305/.408, than he did against southpaws, .213/.265/.362. That was last year. In his career Francisco doesn’t offer much of in the way of platoon splits actually. He has a 101 OPS+ against righties and a 98 OPS+ against lefties.
Because of those splits, if he’s looking for guaranteed playing time the Yankees may not be his best route. It’s impossible to say without knowing all the other teams, the Mets were the only other ones listed, but the Yankees have three starting outfielders and will carry a fourth who will play in about 90 games and probably get at least 250 at bats. That doesn’t leave much left over for a fifth outfielder.
Scott Hairston is expected to finally sign soon. My guess is that we’ll have to wait and see where he lands before we know exactly how interested the Yankees are in Francisco.