Jeff Francis signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, but a few days ago he opted out and became a free agent, as the Reds had yet to bring him to the bigs. Francis didn't figure to stay a free agent for long, however, and now it appears he's found a home:
Everything I am hearing from sources points to Francis having an agreement in principle w RockiesI expect him to start this weekend— Troy Renck, Rockies (@TroyRenck) June 7, 2012
Back to where it all started. Francis always looks about 16, but he's actually 31. When he was 21, he was drafted by the Rockies ninth overall, and he remained with the organization through 2010. Over nearly 900 major-league innings with the Rockies, Francis posted a 100 ERA+, measuring exactly league-average.
Of course, Francis isn't what he used to be, as age and injury have drained his fastball. But the Rockies are pretty desperate for starters, and last year Francis registered 2.7 strikeouts per unintentional walk. He's been fine this year in triple-A, and there could be enough in there to get by, although he won't get by with flying colors.