The Royals sign Jeff Francis

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UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick reports that Francis will get a $2M base salary. He can make $2M more in incentives based on starts and innings pitched. Seems like a good deal. Especially considering that Brad Penny just got $3 million base, $3 million incentives.

9:40 AMJerry Crasnick just tweeted that the Royals have signed free agent starter Jeff Francis to a one-year deal, pending a physical.

This is a much-needed signing for the Royals, whose rotation is otherwise avert-your-eyes awful.  While no ace — his overall 2010 numbers amounted to a 5.00 ERA in 19 starts — Francis looked much better in the second half, gaining some velocity and otherwise shaking off the rust after missing all of 2009 with shoulder surgery.  He should be a quality mid-rotation kind of guy next year.

Which in Kansas City means that he should be a candidate for the Opening Day starter’s gig.