More information has come in from Jerry Crasnick on the Kansas City Royals signing of free agent left-hander Jeff Francis. Francis will earn $2 million in 2011, with the potential to earn up to an additional $2 million depending on performance and innings pitched.
That contact is very favorable for the Royals. They didn't have to overpay for someone they hope can eat up innings next season and bridge the gap before the wave of pitching prospects start to hit Kansas City. Even if the Royals have to pay between $3 and $4 million for Francis next year, I will be happy because it means he has pitched well enough to earn it.
The Royals are still on the lookout for another starter to compete in the 2011 rotation. Look for the Royals to either resign Bruce Chen, or sign another pitcher to a contract similar to Francis. While the 2011 roster still looks bleak, this does provide some intrigue about possible scenarios such as resigning Francis to help a young 2012 staff, or gauging his trade value this summer and trying to obtain more pieces to Dayton Moore's ongoing puzzle.