Jeff Francoeur released by Royals

USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City parts ways with one of MLB's worst players.

Update, July 5: The Kansas City Royals have announced that they have released outfielder Jeff Francoeur, less than a week after designating him for assignment. This frees Francoeur to sign with any other team, though, given he's been one of the worst players in baseball since 2012 began, he might have to settle for a minor-league deal.

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The Kansas City Royals designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment, the team announced on Saturday following a 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Francoeur had struggled offensively this season, hitting .208/.249/.332 in 192 plate appearances. The outfielder looked lost at the plate in 2012 as well, hitting .235/.287/.378 in 603 plate appearances. FanGraphs.com credits Francoeur with - 2.2 WAR over the past two seasons, making him one of the worst players in baseball over that time.

The Royals signed Francoeur to a two-year, $13.5 million contract following the 2011 season. The right fielder hit .285/.329/.476 in 2011, smacking 20 home runs and driving in 87 runs.

Kansas City will promote second baseman Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha to replace Francoeur on the 25-man roster. General manager Dayton Moore said that Giavotella will serve as the Royals' primary second baseman, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star noted.

Giavotella hit .289/.376/.425 in 330 plate appearances at Triple-A this season, but has struggled in his two previous promotions, hitting .242/.271/.340 in 376 plate appearances at the major-league level.

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