Giants sign OF Jeff Francoeur


San Francisco has reached a big-league agreement with the recently released outfielder.

The San Francisco Giants added some much-needed outfield help Tuesday morning, reaching an agreement with new free agent Jeff Francoeur, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

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The Giants will pay Francoeur only a prorated portion of the major-league minimum, with the Kansas City Royals picking up what's left of his $6.57 million salary.

Francoeur, 29, was released by the Royals last week after a very disappointing first half with the club. Frenchy put up solid numbers in his first full season with KC back in 2011 -- earning him a two-year, $13.5 million contract extension -- but hit just .228/.278/.364 over the next season-plus, forcing the team to cut bait.

With Frenchy's struggles at the dish in 2012, many expected that top prospect Wil Myers would take over in right field for the Royals this season. But when the club traded Myers to the Rays, that left the position open for Francoeur to get a second chance, which he wasn't able capitalize on.

Much of Francoeur's trouble at the plate this season may stem from Ned Yost's desire to use him more frequently against right-handed pitchers, against whom Francoeur has struggled throughout his career. In his nine big-league seasons, Francoeur has amassed an OPS 100 points higher against southpaws than same-handed pitchers, but still faced right-handers in 66 percent of his plate appearances this year. Yost did eventually put Frenchy in a platoon with David Lough in mid-May, but it was too little too late at that point.

Given Angel Pagan's season-ending hamstring injury, Francoeur will likely step in and take over the Giants' fourth outfielder role eventually -- for now, he's reporting to Triple-A Fresno, according to the Mercury News' Alex Pavlovic. Just where he'll fit in to San Francisco's outfield remains to be seen, however. It is unlikely that Francoeur will see any time in center field, where the Giants' lone lefty-hitting outfielder -- Gregor Blanco -- plays. He could share time in left field with switch-hitter Andres Torres -- who has had some defensive problems of late -- but Pagan owns a not-insignificant reverse platoon split over his career, so that could end up working to the club's detriment.

Wherever he ends up playing, he should provide an upgrade over the trio of Juan Perez, Francisco Peguero, and Cole Gillespie, who have not fared well in their brief stints as reserve outfielders.

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