Francis to sign one-year deal with Royals
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that former Colorado Rockies starting pitcher will sign a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals.
Francis, the Rockies’ first-round pick and ninth player selected overall in the 2002 draft, was 4-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 20 appearances in 2010, his first season back after missing all of 2009 following shoulder surgery. He started the 2010 season on the disabled list and returned there in August with tendinitis in his shoulder. He returned to the team in September and made three brief starts before ending the season with his first career relief appearance in the Rockies’ final game of the season.
The Rockies had interest in re-signing Francis, who became a free agent for the first time in his career this offseason, but didn’t have a clear role for him in a starting rotation that already includes, , , and . Three others pitchers on the 40-man roster — , and — will try to crack the rotation in spring training.
Francis made his major-league debut with the Rockies in 2004 and was the ace of an injury-plagued rotation during the team’s 2007 World Series run. He went 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA in 34 starts that season and made three postseason appearances. The following season, however, was a disaster for Francis who fell off to 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA before a torn labrum was discovered in his pitching shoulder.
Francis, who was 55-50 with a 4.77 ERA in six seasons with the Rockies, is third all-time in franchise history in wins, starts and innings pitched and fourth in strikeouts.
UPDATE, 9:46 a.m.: Crasnick further reports that Francis’ deal is for $2 million and he could earn another $2 million in innings and starts incentives.