Pirates Still Interested in Francis

The Pirates are still interested in Francis.

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 signed Francis and traded Maholm, they wouldn’t lose any value in the rotation, and would gain a prospect in the process.  The problem with this approach would be that any team looking to trade for Maholm would be better off signing Francis.  Maholm’s value would only increase once Francis and other starting options were off the market, which means the Pirates would probably have to sign Francis before they could trade Maholm.

UPDATE 1:47 PM: Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets that the Pirates, Mets, and Royals provide more opportunity for Francis than the Rockies, and follows up that Clint Hurdle’s familiarity with Francis’ injury history is a huge benefit for a guy trying to rebound with a new team.  It should be noted that not only did Francis break in to the majors under Hurdle, but he also had his best years with Hurdle as the manager (2006/2007).  I’d credit pitching coach Bob Apodaca with that success before giving Hurdle credit, although the familiarity could be a big benefit for the Pirates.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

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.

Pirates Winter League Update: 1/5

Next Story »

Garrett Atkins and Brian Burres Contract Details

Latest Analysis

  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    30 mins ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    1 day ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More