Jeff Francis’ one-year deal with Rockies worth $1.5 million

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has the financial details of Jeff Francis’ one-year contract with the Rockies: He gets $1.5 million in guaranteed money, plus another $1.5 million in potential incentives.

Francis worked in the mid-80s with his fastball this year and posted a 5.58 ERA in 113 innings for the Rockies, but did top 6.0 strikeouts per nine innings for the first time since 2007 and has become an extreme strike-thrower with one of MLB’s lowest walk rates.

And of course the Rockies are very familiar with Francis, having drafted him ninth overall in 2002. He played for Colorado from 2004-2010, left for a one-year stint in Kansas City, and then returned this year. Now he’ll slide into the back of the Rockies’ rotation for 2013.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.