Pirates, Francis an unlikely match?
Jim Lindell, the agent for free agent pitcher Jeff Francis confirmed to Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com this afternoon that he has reached out to Pirates general manager Neal Huntington.
Lindell who also confirmed that the Pirates made an offer to his client last off-season, said Francis has a lot of respect for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle who coached Francis in Colorado.
The 30 year old Francis went 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA in 31 starts last season for Kansas City. Francis who has been “injury plagued”, dealing with shoulder issues, logged 183 innings in 2011, showing for at least one season that he can endure a starters load.
Francis was one of Clint Hurdle’s aces for the Rockies 2007 team that advanced to the World Series. That season Francis won 17 games.
While there is a mutual interest between the Pirates and Rockies, Francis waited until mid-January to sign last season and Lindell indicates he is prepared to wait that long if need be.
Despite the Clint Hurdle connection, it wasn’t enough to sign Francis last off-season who inked a one year deal with the Kansas City Royals for $2 million plus incentives, mostly based on starts and innings.
Francis went on to earn over $3.5 million and it’s hard to envision the Pirates coming that close on a potential deal.