Let me preface this by saying that I am not a Jeff Francouer fan. In no way do I think that he is going to be a part of the long term outfield solution. I think even during his first couple of seasons he was an overrated player. I believe that he is one of the worst everyday players in the majors. I think he has a little bit of promise and is on the good side of the aging curve. But the backlash that Dayton Moore is receiving for the signing is unnecessary and exaggerated.
I don't want to get into an in-depth analysis of the psychology of Royals fans, but it seems to me as though the predictability of the Francouer signing has given Royals fans time to build up their frustrations with the deal before it even occurred. Moore is going to get flak for signing another former Braves top prospect, that has no plate discipline, good rbi totals, and of course the intangibles that are needed for a ballclub. The Francouer signing was perhaps the most predictability Royals transaction in history and for that fans are frustrated.
For all the haters of this signing I ask you this: "What should Dayton Moore have done?" You think he should have made a run at Crawford or Werth? Get real. You think he should have signed Matt Diaz? Well he is 32. You think he should have signed Austin Kearns? That's fine, but he's also always on the DL. You think he should have saved the money? I wouldn't have been upset with that, but even though an outfield of Gordon-Cabrerra-Francouer doesn't sound great, it does sound better than an outfield of Blanco-Maier-Gordon.
Moore didn't overpay for Francouer, he didn't give him multiple years as many thought he would. Francouer is going to be the starting rightfielder for Kansas City. He is going to be a frustrating player to watch at the plate on many a summer evening in 2011. He is going to impress fans with bullets from the outfield. He is going to send some cowhide spheres deep into the dark blue sky.
In the end Francouer is only 26 years old. He has shown the abilities necessary to be a productive major league player. He in no way is going to hurt the long term plan of the organization. He is signed at an extremely reasonable price. He isn't going to turn the Royals into a contender for 2011, but he does represent improvement to the roster.
I can understand the frustration of Royals fans for the predictability of Dayton Moore's moves. But the negative evaluations of this move have been much more a result of frustration then of unbiased evaluation.