Blue Jays Sign Frank Francisco

The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Frank Francisco by agreeing on a one-year, $4MM contract, reports the team's official Twitter feed.  Francisco is represented by Praver/Shapiro.

Francisco joined the Jays just last Tuesday after being acquired from Texas in exchange for Mike Napoli.  The right-hander submitted a $4.88MM arb number to the Rangers, who countered with a $3.5MM offer.  This was Francisco's last year of arbitration eligibility, and he is a free agent next winter.

Francisco moved into a setup role in the Rangers bullpen last season and delivered a strong season (3.76 ERA, 10.3 K/9 rate, 3.33 K/BB ratio) for the American League champs.  Francisco lost the closer's job to Neftali Feliz in Texas, but he is expected to compete with Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel for game-finishing duties with the Jays.

According to the MLBTR ArbTracker, Jose Bautista is the only arb-eligible Toronto player who has yet to sign a 2011 contract.  MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at the unique nature of Bautista's arbitration case last fall.

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