Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jeff Francis signs a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds


Jeff Francis was a pitcher the Mets had on their radar, but he has decided to go to Cincinnati instead.

Free agent pitcher Jeff Francis signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, CBSSports.com 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.

The Mets might still turn their attention to RHP Chris Young , who is coming off an arm injury.. 
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