Jeff Francoeur has hit free agency after clearing waivers and declining an outright assignment to the minors, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The 26-year-old split the 2010 season between the Mets and Rangers, batting .249/.300/.383 in 503 plate appearances.
Francoeur earned $5MM last year and would have been eligible for arbitration again, so the Rangers were expected to non-tender him. This move is essentially an early non-tender, as it allows Francoeur to explore the free agent market a month early. He has said he'd like to play every day, but a part-time role may be more likely given his struggles against righties (.699 career OPS) and success against lefties (.824 career OPS).