Blog Entry

Reds sign Francis to minor-league contract

Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:49 pm
By Matt Snyder

Free agent pitcher Jeff Francis has signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, insider Jon Heyman has learned.


Francis, a 31-year-old left-hander, was 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 183 innings for the Royals last season. He was once an effective starter, but that was back in 2006-07 with the Rockies.

Not only that, but the Reds have plenty of starting pitching. Mat Latos and Johnny Cueto are the top two in the rotation, with Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey in tow as well. Plus, left-handed fireballer Aroldis Chapman is being converted to a starter this spring as well. So even if Francis gets a nod in the rotation before long reliever Sam LeCure, he is the seventh option.

On the other hand, Latos, Cueto, Arroyo, Leake and Bailey are all right handed. If Chapman doesn't cut it as a starter, it's entirely possible Francis gets a look as the fifth starter at some point, just to have a lefty in there.

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Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 6:25 pm

Reds sign Francis to minor-league contract

For the Reds this is simply developing organizational LH starting depth.  Francis could regain his winning form when he was new in the league and a top prospect for the Rockies.  If not, the Reds have only committed a minor league contract to him.

That 4.82 ERA was in the AL.  The Reds need a LH starting pitcher, especially if Chapman is not ready by opening day.  It is a chance worth taking.

Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:44 am

Reds sign Francis to minor-league contract

Eats innings?  With a 4.82 ERA, I don't want him pitching 180 innings for my team.  His FB is like 84 mph these days...MEAT!  I once heard that BP is thrown at about 85-86 mph from a guy that used to throw it.  I watched him pitch last year and it was ugly.  His curve is still ok, maybe he can become a lefty specialist.  I'm just glad he's not back in KC!

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:48 am

Reds sign Francis to minor-league contract

The one thing Jeff Francis did last year was eat up Innings.Also as the old adage goes;'you can never have too much pitching' can be applied here despite the fact that if he doesn't make the big league team & the organization outrights him to the minors he can become a Free Agent & as a LH pitcher he'll always be able to get a job somewhere. 

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