The Royals will pay Francoeur $2.5 million

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Bob Dutton reports the specifics of the Jeff Francoeur deal: $2.5 million with bonuses that could be worth $500,000. There’s also a mutual option for 2012 at $3 million.  He also gets $100 million if he leads the league in walks.

OK, maybe not. But I’d put that in there if I was Kansas City just to see what happens.

My original take on the signing is here.  The numbers don’t change it much. $2.5 million is not a ton for the guy. There’s a chance he could be something approaching useful.  If he somehow managed to finally tap his potential he could be a genuine bargain.  Ultimately, though, he’s a bridge for the Royals until some of their stud prospects come to the big club in 2012 or 2013.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.