Philly Sports Live

Ben Francisco reunited with Phillies

The Phillies traded Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays on Dec. 12 for Minor League left-hander Frank Gailey. They essentially made the move because they had no spot for Francisco at his salary. He made $1.175 million last season, and as the Phillies move closer and closer to the $178 million luxury tax threshold, it made little sense to keep him with Shane Victorino in center field, Hunter Pence in right field and the potential emergence of John Mayberry Jr. in left field, especially with Francisco coming off a disappointing season and due another raise because of salary arbitration.

The Phillies also found cheaper alternatives for reserve outfielders in Laynce Nix, who makes $1.15 million, and Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednik, who both signed Minor League contracts.

Francisco finds himself in a similar role in Toronto, where he is expected to be the team’s fifth outfielder. He went 0-for-1 in the Blue Jays’ 7-0 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday.

Francisco, who makes $1.5375 million this season, came to the Phillies in the July 2009 trade that brought Cliff Lee to Philadelphia. He left the organization with two great memories: playing in the 2009 World Series and his game-winning pinch-hit home run in Game 3 of the 2011 National League Division Series.