Jeff Francis Rumors

Rockies Rumors: Oswalt, Millwood, Francis, Tanaka

The Rockies revamped their catching situation by signing Ramon Hernandez and trading Chris Iannetta, but now let's see what else is cooking in Colorado…


Twins Interested In Jeff Francis And Edwin Jackson

The Twins were among the finalists for Chris Capuano before the left-hander signed with the Dodgers, and now they're turning their attention to Jeff Francis and Edwin Jackson according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. They've had preliminary discussions with Francis' agent and are likely to continue talks at the winter meetings next week.

Jackson, a Scott Boras client, would not a cost draft to sign as a Type-B free agent, but Minnesota is wary of his price tag according to Morosi. At the moment, the Twinkies have Carl Pavano, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Francisco Liriano, Kevin Slowey, and Brian Duensing as potential starters, but Baker, Liriano, and Blackburn have injury concerns and Slowey is a non-tender candidate.


Los Angeles Notes: Kuroda, Wilson, Dipoto, Colletti

Here's the latest from the City Of Angels (And Dodgers)….



Dodgers Prefer Kuroda, Harang, Capuano, Francis

The Dodgers have narrowed their search for starting pitching, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Free agents Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Jeff Francis top the Dodgers' list, according to DiGiovanna.

Jon Heyman of SI.com lists the same four pitchers as possible targets and says on Twitter that the Dodgers have less than $10MM to spend (MLB.com's Ken Gurnick listed the four possibilities yesterday). It's looking less likely that GM Ned Colletti will obtain a big bat from outside of the organization.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw won the 2011 NL Cy Young Award today.


Big Bat Looking Less Realistic For Dodgers

Asked about adding a big bat this winter, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told reporters including Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, "As of today, it looks less realistic."  Colletti has no meetings scheduled with Prince Fielder's agent, Scott Boras.  I wouldn't consider the Matt Kemp extension to be adding a big bat for 2012, since he was under team control regardless.

The Dodgers' 2012 payroll will come down from this year's $110MM mark, reports Hernandez.  So far the Dodgers have committed $6.5MM in 2012 salaries to Juan Rivera and Mark Ellis, perhaps with another $1MM or so on the way for Matt Treanor.  The Dodgers' new eight-year deal with Kemp could actually reduce their expected commitment to the center fielder for 2012.  Colletti still hopes to add a backup infielder capable of playing shortstop.  He's also looking for a starting pitcher, with Hiroki Kuroda currently undecided.  Chris Capuano, Jeff Francis, and Aaron Harang are on Colletti's radar if Kuroda does not return, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.

Including Rivera, Ellis, Treanor, and the $11.5MM owed to Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones next year, the Dodgers have $52.45MM in contractual commitments over seven roster spots.  If we estimate $13MM for Kemp and $19MM combined for Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw, that's about $84MM over ten roster spots.  Retaining James Loney would require another $6MM or so, pushing the Dodgers to $90MM.  Kuroda or an equivalent veteran starter would likely eat up most of the remaining surplus.   


NL West Rumors: Lincecum, Rockies, Dodgers

The latest out of the NL West…


Quick Hits: CBA, Fielder, Francis, Rollins

Ryan Madson appeared to have a deal with the Phillies this time last night, but the sides haven't completed anything to date. Here are the details and here are your links for Wednesday night…


Make Or Break Year: What Happened?

Before the season, MLBTR writers identified 13 players who were set for 'make or break' years. These players had experienced ups and downs in their respective careers and were positioned to re-establish themselves as difference makers at the Major League level and set themselves up for success in free agency.

We checked in on the players at the quarter pole of the campaign and again at its midway point. Let's do it again now that the regular season's over (all links go to the MLBTR posts):

Players whose seasons met or exceeded preseason expectations:

  • Aramis Ramirez - Ramirez had a strong season, hitting 26 homers and posting a .306/.361/.510 line as the Cubs' everyday third baseman.
  • Edwin Jackson - Jackson, a free agent after the season, completed 199 2/3 innings with a 3.79 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 43.8% ground ball rate.
  • Bobby Abreu - Though Abreu's power dropped off, he managed a .353 on-base percentage and 21 steals. His 2012 option vested in July, so he should be back in Los Angeles for a fourth season with the Angels.
  • Carlos Beltran - A highly-coveted midsummer trade target, Beltran spent time on the DL with a strained right hand and wrist in August. His season line was .300/.385/.525, so agent Scott Boras will likely receive multiyear offers for the switch-hitter.
  • Jeff Francis - Francis pitched 183 innings with a 4.82 ERA, 4.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. He wasn't spectacular, but he made his starts, quieting questions about the condition of his left shoulder.

Players who had disappointing seasons due to injury or poor performance:

  • Scott Kazmir - Kazmir spent time on the DL, made one appearance for the Angels and posted a 17.02 ERA with more walks than strikeouts at Triple-A before getting released. The 2011 season could not have gone much worse for the former first rounder.
  • Nate McLouth - McLouth's .228/.344/.333 line is better than it was last year and features a respectable on-base percentage, but he missed the second half with oblique and abdominal injuries.
  • Jonathan Broxton - It was a lost season for Broxton, who recently had surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow and is looking at an incentive-based one-year deal in free agency.
  • Grady Sizemore - Sizemore got off to a hot start, but finished the season with a .224/.285/.422 line. Knee and abdominal issues limited him to 71 games and there's no guarantee that the Indians will pick up his $9MM option for 2012.
  • Joel Zumaya - Zumaya didn't pitch in a Major League game after undergoing elbow surgery in March.
  • Ryan Doumit - A sprained left ankle limited the 30-year-old to 77 games. When healthy, he posted a .303/.353/.477 line, but it doesn't appear likely that the Pirates will pick up his $7.25MM option.
  • Casey Blake - Blake hit .252/.342/.371 in 239 plate appearances and spent considerable time on the DL with a cervical strain. He had surgery in September and the Dodgers will decline his $6MM option for 2012.
  • Matt Capps - Capps saw his strikeout rate (4.7 K/9), ground ball rate (41.6%), average fastball velocity (92.9 mph) and innings total (65 2/3) drop this year, while his ERA rose nearly two runs to 4.25. At least he stayed healthy, unlike many on this list.

Quick Hits: Slowey, Royals, Lee, Reddick

For a while, it seemed as though we'd have a quiet trade deadline. So much for that – today we saw Ubaldo Jimenez, Derrek Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Rich Harden, Koji Uehara, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Jason Marquis, Mike Aviles, Jerry Hairston Jr., Doug Fister and David Pauley all get traded. Let's gear up for the deadline itself with another round of links…


Quiet Deadline Possible For Royals

Though Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies are drawing interest from several clubs, the Royals may hold onto all three and continue using a six-man rotation, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals continue to say they’re happy to hold onto the starters, who hit free agency after the season.

“Nothing has changed with our situation,” GM Dayton Moore told Dutton. “The guys we have, I think, are more valuable to us than the potential [return].”

Chen projects as a Type B free agent under our most recent projections, so the Royals could obtain a supplementary draft pick if the left-hander turns down an offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere. Francis and Davies, however, don’t currently project as ranked free agents, so the Royals can’t expect picks for them.

Kansas City appears to be seeking a number three starter (or close to it) for Melky Cabrera or Jeff Francoeur. However, trades involving the two outfielders don’t appear to be brewing at the moment.