Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of seven teams still interested in left handed starter Jeff Francis. Crasnick lists the Nationals, Royals, Rangers, Rockies, and both New York teams as the other interested teams.
Francis is coming off a year where he put up a 5.00 ERA in 104.1 innings, along with a 5.8 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9. He was recovering from a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss the 2009 season. The Pirates currently have a projected rotation of James McDonald, Kevin Correia, Ross Ohlendorf, and Paul Maholm, with Scott Olsen, Charlie Morton, Brad Lincoln, and Jeff Karstens among the players who will battle for the fifth starter role. There have been a lot of trade rumors surrounding Maholm, which means that they could potentially have two open spots, making Francis a good fit.
Francis would be a solid replacement for Maholm, as each pitcher is around the same value. If the Pirates sign...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.