Indians release outfielder Jeff Francoeur

We'll always have this picture. - PHOTO

I did NOT see that coming.

The Indians have released outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who'd been signed to a minor-league deal and brought into camp to compete for the final spot on the roster. Francoeur had put up decent numbers this spring (.286/.359/.429), and made a couple great throws from the outfield, but he was always a longshot to make the roster, given that there were so many other guys set for playing time in the outfield, or who provided the versatility to also play the infield.

Meanwhile in fact, from the sound of what Indians beat reporters Jordan Bastian and Nick Camino are tweeting, Elliot Johnson appears set to make the 25-man roster. There's nothing official on that yet though.

If the Indians do go with another outfielder (I don't think they will, unless Michael Bourn isn't ready for Opening Day, which is what would create the opening), Nyjer Morgan could be the man, since he's capable of playing center.

Right-handed pitchers Cody Penny, Manny Alcantara, and Felix Sterling were also released this morning.

Francoeur has been well-liked by teammates and media members are every stop of the career, which has led to some inflation in the public perception of his performance, but he has had a couple good years in his career (2007 and 2011 stand out), and he's still only 30, so I imagine he'll be able to land some sort of contract with another team, and that his release was largely about giving him that opportunity.

Au revoir, Frenchy...

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