Royals To Sign Jeff Francis

The Royals have agreed to sign Jeff Francis to a one-year deal, the team announced. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick first reported the deal and adds that it's for $2MM guaranteed plus $2MM in incentives (Twitter link). The agreement with the Frontline client is pending a physical.

Francis drew interest from at least seven teams this offseason before agreeing to sign in Kansas City. The lefty logged 104 1/3 innings and posted a 5.00 ERA with 5.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a healthy 46.8% ground ball rate last year. He missed the entire 2009 season as he recovered from shoulder surgery. 

Once the Royals dealt Zack Greinke, their need for starting pitching became even more apparent. Their internal rotation candidates include Kyle DaviesLuke HochevarSean O'SullivanVin Mazzaro and Zach Miner, but GM Dayton Moore needed more starting pitching depth. Kansas City expressed interest in Kevin Millwood earlier in the winter and the Scott Boras client remains unsigned.

With Francis off the board and Carl Pavano nearing an agreement to return to Minnesota, there are virtually no free agent groundballers remaining.

As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, the Royals have signed Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera, traded David DeJesus and Greinke away and made a number of minor deals since the offseason began.


41 Responses to Royals To Sign Jeff Francis Leave a Reply

  1. Funny. He’s not a former Brave!

    • LOL, good call. I wonder if this will get the ball rolling with Young, who I’m assuming will be signing with the Mets, but I could be wrong.

    • CrustyJuggler 4 years ago

      …. Or a former Mariner.

  2. This seemed to come out of left field. Just read an article about the top 10 remaining free agents. Looks like you can take one more name off that list.

  3. He’s a Frontline client? Lucky for the Royals he won’t have heartworms then.

    • Gumby65 4 years ago

      LOL I can see Royals trainer pinching up some skin behind Jeff’s neck now….

  4. CrustyJuggler 4 years ago

    I was hoping Seattle was in on him… Dang. The M’s still need another starter. I wonder if Bonderman is that guy now. I hope so, the pickens are getting slim.

    • Eric 4 years ago

      I know that the budget in Seattle is slim, but learning that the deal he signed is for 2M guaranteed leaves me a little confused and irritated. The M’s should have been in on this guy. The same thing can be said for Capuano and his 1.5M guaranteed deal with the Mets. Here’s to hoping the Mariners are not done shopping for arms this winter.

  5. Jason Klinger 4 years ago

    Good stopgap starter until all that young talent is ready to move up to the MLB roster, but it’s going to be a rough year or two for KC fans.

  6. budman3 4 years ago

    The questiion for the market now is how much did the Royals overpay for Francis?

  7. Good move for the Royals, low risk potentially good reward. If he can get back to his pre-surgery form they’ll have another nice trading chip late in the season to flip for more prospects to add to their system.

  8. bbxxj 4 years ago

    I think this is a fantastic deal for both sides.

    For the Royals:
    They get a much needed arm for their rotation to make it at least MLB caliber until the youngsters arrive. They can hope he gives them 10-15 good starts to start the year and give their fans some quality baseball to watch, and then trade him at the deadline for more talent while replacing him with whoever is ready from the prospect ranks.

    For Francis:
    He gets to go to a team that will give him every opportunity to start even if he is a bit rocky coming off injury trouble. He will have a good defense behind him – assuming Aviles/Escobar/Getz/Ka’aihue is behind him most days – to make his numbers as a groundballer look better. He also has a very good chance to be traded to a midseason contender and so signing with the Royals may actually give him a greater shot at the postseason than signing with a preseason contender.

  9. MetsEventually 4 years ago

    This team would be dirty…in 2007. But srsly, good signing for the Royals. Baseballs best farm system does need some time to bud!

  10. $1529282 4 years ago

    Whoever signed Francis was going to end up with a bargain. I’m surprised to see it’s the Royals, but barring some catastrophic $12M guarantee or something, it’s a great pickup.

  11. TheGuvnr 4 years ago

    I guess winning isn’t all that important to him. Well, he could have done worse…he could have signed with the Mets.

    • Like someone said above, chances are he’s traded midseason to a contending team needing a starter. His chances of winning are actually quite large.

    • bleedrockiepurple 4 years ago

      Francis wants to win, he always has. But he realizes he needs to gain more value and the only way he can do that is by starting and the royals were the only team saying he has a legitimate chance at do so. Great move on his part.

  12. Great low risk high reward signing by the Royals! Now they just need to sign 3 more starting pitchers to go with Francis and Hochevar and they are all set!

    Seriously, the Royals should be an entertaining team to watch over the next few years.

  13. Wow! This is not an absolute garbage signing. Maybe I’ll change my tune when I see they gave him 10 mill guaranteed or something along those lines.

  14. Beersy 4 years ago

    Nice deal for both club and player. Getting out of Coors won’t hurt Francis’ numbers for sure. With all the prospects the Royals have just around the corner, Francis might want to stick around for awhile.

  15. lazerball 4 years ago

    Dayton Moore made a smart free agent signing? I feel like I’ve just entered the twilight zone here.

    • Infield Fly 4 years ago

      I’m guessing that feeling will pass….as soon as you get a load of Jeff Francouer in your outfield this season (sorry man…just speaking from experience as a Mets fan!).
      ;p

  16. $1529282 4 years ago

    Wow, not often you get to say it… but great signing, Dayton Moore.

  17. lazerball 4 years ago

    Wow, pretty good price too. I’m surprised more teams weren’t in on Francis given the cost. Obviously he’s no superstar, but this is hardly throwing fecal matter at a wall given the nice peripherals he put up when he returned last year.

  18. $2 million base salary, can hit $4 million with incentives. Great deal by the Royals.

    link to twitter.com

  19. Rabbitov 4 years ago

    Wonder why he chose Royals? Must have been the $.

    • Not everything is about money. He said he wanted to work with Royals pitching coach Bob McClure again – McClure was a minor league coach in the Rockies system when Francis was coming up.

  20. Just wanted to check in and say something no one ever says on MLBTR: I was wrong. There have been a coupla topics lately about Francis and I remember saying Francis to KC was probably never going to happen. And I was wrong wrong wrong. Nothing much to add, just holding myself accountable.

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Great. We were all hoping you’d do that.

      • Heh. Not like I thought anyone was waiting on that, but wouldn’t it be nice if more folks around here could cop to being wrong?

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Great. We were all hoping you’d do that.

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      you are an inspiration

  21. Just wanted to check in and say something no one ever says on MLBTR: I was wrong. There have been a coupla topics lately about Francis and I remember saying Francis to KC was probably never going to happen. And I was wrong wrong wrong. Nothing much to add, just holding myself accountable.

  22. okbluejays 4 years ago

    Solid signing…was surprised not more teams had interest in him. 2mil for a guy that will give you a lot of solid innings isn’t bad at all.

  23. okbluejays 4 years ago

    Solid signing…was surprised not more teams had interest in him. 2mil for a guy that will give you a lot of solid innings isn’t bad at all.

  24. thekoshow 4 years ago

    Really wanted to see the Rockies bring him back, and get rid of Aaron Cook. Good sign by the Royals.

  25. Ok so I know I’m in the minority here, but i think this is a bad pick-up. We have Hochevar, Mizzaro, Davies, O’Sullivan, passed on Chen and brought in Francis. Why not keep Chen, and then bring up the SP who has the best spring training out of Lamb/Teaford/Crowe to start the season as our 5 starter?

    1) Hochevar
    2) Mazarro
    3) Chen
    4) Davies
    5) Teaford

    Still awful but is young, has potential to out perform itself, and looks a lot better than:

    1) Hochevar
    2) Mazarro
    3) Francis
    4) Davies
    5) O’Sullivan

  26. flyswater 4 years ago

    FRANCIS very risky movedo not dislike him but his time has past him.

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