Rockies hope to re-sign Jeff Francis after declining $7 million option for 2011

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Jeff Francis’ four-year, $13.25 million contract signed in November of 2006 includes a $7 million option for 2011 that the Rockies are all but guaranteed to decline, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that they’ll likely try to re-sign Francis at a lesser salary.
Francis missed all of last season following shoulder surgery and struggled down the stretch this year after returning to the rotation in May, finishing with a 5.00 ERA in 104.1 innings. However, his 67/23 K/BB ratio was actually pretty solid and Francis posted a career-high ground-ball rate of 47 percent while returning to his pre-surgery velocity levels.
His agent, Jim Lindell, said that Francis would like to re-sign with the Rockies “if everything’s equal.” In other words, if no other teams want to give him a multi-year deal with a bunch of guaranteed money, he’ll probably be fine returning to Colorado for something incentive-laden.

The Dodgers do not have a general manager, but they have an assistant general manager

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LAS VEGAS — Farhan Zaidi left his job as the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers to become the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants. While Dodgers president Andrew Friedman remains at the top of the baseball operations department, Zaidi’s departure has left the Dodgers without a general manager. It happens. It also happens that the Dodgers do not plan to replace Zaidi with a new general manager any time soon. They just said so last week.

They do, however, have an assistant general manager now. It’s Jeff Kingston, late of the Seattle Mariners, where he served as Jerry Dipoto’s assistant. Now he is an assistant with no one, nominally, to assist. Seems like some sort of dividing by zero error, philosophically speaking, but we’ll just assume it’ll sort itself out.

Two less cosmic takeaways from this: 1. Kingston is an analytics guy who has typically advised the wheeler-dealer — Dipoto — so it’s fairly safe to assume he’ll do that in Los Angeles too; and 2. that a team is happy to proceed without a general manager should tell you where general managers, well, in general, stand in this age of title inflation in baseball front offices.

I imagine that, after some time in the organization, Kingston will be named the actual general manager with no real change in his duties, further underscoring that, in this day and age, the title of GM is like the value of a Zimbabwean dollar.