The Pirates are one of the teams interested in free agent lefty Jeff Francis, says Jon Morosi, and now we have our first nugget of depressing information from Dallas! I actually thought Francis would’ve been worth a flier last year, when there was some uncertainty as to how he was going to recover from his shoulder surgery and there was a chance that he’d be able to recover some of his pre-injury form.
Instead, he signed with the Royals, his strikeout rate dropped to Zach Duke levels (4.48 K/9), and his average fastball velocity plummeted to under 85 mph. Which is to say that he’d probably be able to get some ground balls and eat up some innings at above-replacement level, but I don’t think I’d count on him for more than that. I’d take him over Aaron Cook, if we’re ranking the players Clint Hurdle is attempting to acquire in his hostile take over of the Pirates front office to recreate the worst National League pennant winner in recent history without any of their good players, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to say much more than that.