Reds To Sign Jeff Francis, Thomas Neal

4:38pm: The Reds have also signed Thomas Neal, the outfielder tweeted himself. Neal, 26, spent the 2013 season in the Cubs and Yankees organizations. He batted .325/.391/.411 in 297 Triple-A plate appearances and collected two hits and a walk in 17 Major League PAs. Neal is represented by Jeff Berry of CAA Sports.

3:08pm: The Reds have agreed to a minor league deal with southpaw Jeff Francis, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Francis is represented by Frontline Athlete Management. His deal includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

This will be Francis' second stint with the Reds, as he also inked a minor league pact with Cincinnati prior to the 2012 season. Francis exercised an opt-out clause in June that year and has spent the past season-and-a-half with the Rockies — the team that originally selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2002 draft. In that time, Francis has pitched to a 5.84 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent ground-ball rate.

Francis is the second starter with notable big league experience that the Reds have brought in on a minor league deal this offseason. Cincinnati also inked right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training.

13 Responses to Reds To Sign Jeff Francis, Thomas Neal Leave a Reply

  1. Seekrieg 2 years ago

    Good luck with this one! He gives up homeruns like passing out candy to kids!

    • Seamaholic 2 years ago

      Not really, actually. That’s not his primary problem.

  2. Good to see the Reds addressing their depth finally. I feel better about the pitching staff with Wang and Francis in the fold, if for no other reason than to give Cingrani a push. Now if they would just bring in a couple more position players on minor league deals. I don’t think Jason Bourgeouis is going to provide the necessary outfield depth.

  3. Karkat 2 years ago

    Jeff Francis is only 33? I feel like he’s been around forever!

    • JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

      10 years! Time sadly flies. And Felix is only 27 (28 in april)…

  4. Ace McCloud® 2 years ago

    I always thought he was going to be the next big thing in the MLB. Hopefully he does well.

    • KJ4realz 2 years ago

      Every time I think of Francis I think of the 07 Rockies run and about how he dominated. But then I go and look at his numbers and realize he didn’t dominate. He had like a good month stretch but he blew up with that Rockies run.

  5. ice_hawk10 2 years ago

    Projections have him worth 1-2 WAR, so this could be a steal. Unfortunately it’s yet another hitters haven for him to pitch in.

  6. Ruthlessly Absurd 2 years ago

    As a Cardinals fan I heartily applaud this move and other great ones like it that the Reds have been rocking all offseason

    • Josh Botts 2 years ago

      As a Reds fan can’t argue against you. Reds are giving a new manager less weapons to work with and a discontent fan base. Saying this I’m optimistic the Reds can still win the central but they are counting on a lot of “ifs” to get the job done.

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