Rockies to Re-Sign Jeff Francis

The Colorado Rockies have agreed in principle to a one-year, Major League contract with left-handed starting pitcher Jeff Francis, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. The deal will become official once Francis passes a physical.

Francis, 31, was originally drafted in the first round by the Rockies in 2002. He rejoined the club in June of this year after spending 2011 with the Kansas City Royals and the first two months of 2012 in the minor leagues with the Cincinnati Reds. Francis made 24 starts for Colorado this year pitching to a 5.58 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. He allowed just 17 unintentional walks in 113 innings, but posted a pedestrian strikeout rate (6.1 K/9) and was hit extremely hard (11.5 H/9). Over the last two seasons Francis has allowed 396 hits in 296 innings pitched.

The Rockies are said to still be looking to acquire a starting pitcher via trade or free agency, but as of now it appears that Francis will have one of Colorado’s five starting rotation spots. The Rockies are counting on Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, and Juan Nicasio to return from injury and for Drew Pomeranz to fill out the rotation.

Francis, who made $750,000 base salary this year plus incentives, ranks second in Rockies’ history with 67 wins, trailing only Aaron Cook. The terms of his new contract are unknown.

UPDATE 12:40: ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Rockies have guaranteed Jeff Francis $1.5 million in base salary. He also adds that performance bonuses can increase the total value of the deal to "about" $3 million. 

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