Jeff Francis drawing interest from at least five teams

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Colorado is interested in re-signing Jeff Francis and he’s also drawing interest from Seattle, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Houston, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

Last month the Rockies declined their $7 million option on Francis for 2011, which was a no-brainer after he returned from shoulder surgery to post a 5.00 ERA in 104 innings.

Francis is still just 29 years old and if you look beyond the ugly ERA he had a solid 67/23 K/BB ratio, which makes the left-hander an intriguing post-surgery flier for teams not interested in getting into bidding wars for free agent starters like Jorge De La Rosa, Jake Westbrook, and Carl Pavano.

Indians’ Kluber has cast removed, making progress

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CLEVELAND (AP) Indians ace Corey Kluber had the hard cast protecting his broken right arm removed and the two-time Cy Young winner is healing as hoped.

Kluber underwent imaging texts Thursday, which showed that his ulna is mending properly. Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Kluber can begin range of motion and that he will be re-examined in two weeks.

The right-hander broke his arm when he was struck flush by a line drive hit by Miami’s Brian Anderson on May 1. At the time, the Indians said surgery wasn’t needed, and Francona said the medical staff told him Kluber was having “expected healing.”

Kluber has been fitted with a protective brace. He said it was a relief to have the cast off and is excited that he “can do a lot more now.”

The 33-year-old ran sprints in the outfield before the series opener against Tampa Bay.

Kluber won 20 games last season and at least 18 in each of the past three seasons. He is 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA in seven starts this year.

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