Jeff Francis accepts Rockies’ assignment to Triple-A

Leave a comment

In adding Roy Oswalt to the rotation ahead of tonight’s start the Rockies demoted Jeff Francis to Triple-A. Because he’s a veteran Francis had the ability to reject the assignment and become a free agent, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the left-hander has decided to remain with the Rockies in the minors.

Francis has been terrible in his second go-around with the Rockies, which began last season, starting 35 games with a 5.89 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .311 with a .510 slugging percentage. His odds of finding another big-league deal were non-existent and betting on the Rockies go give him another chance seems like a smart move.

Since posting a 17-9 record as a 26-year-old in 2007 he’s gone 22-44 with a 5.19 ERA in 596 innings.

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
Jason Miller/Getty Images
3 Comments

Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.