Left hander Jeff Francis, the ninth overall pick in the 2002 draft, is a pitcher that we would like to see the Pittsburgh Pirates get serious about locking up. However it doesn’t appear that a deal between the Pirates and Francis will happen anytime soon.
Francis conducted a phone interview with the Montreal Gazette from his British Columbia home on Friday. Along with the Pirates, the 6’5″ lefty has received interest from the Yankees, Nats, Mets, and Rangers.
“It’s exciting for people to read because they think there’s lots of things happening, but it’s not as fast-paced as it’s all made out to be.
“Teams are interested, but that’s about it at this point.”
Francis is far from a sure thing. The Pirates game on August 5 might have been when the wheels came off for Francis in 2010. He came into Pittsburgh flying high with four nice starts under his belt against the Padres, Marlins, Phillies, and Cubs. The Bucs brought him back to earth getting nine hits, two homers, and five runs in five and two-thirds innings pitched.
What followed for Francis’ season would have to be why teams are taking their time in putting a deal together with Francis. He had some shaky starts down the stretch that included a pattern of allowing the long ball. In his last four starts he threw just 15.2 innings, allowed 20 hits, eleven earned runs and allowed five homers.
“The most important thing for me is that I get an opportunity to go out and pitch, to prove I’m healthy, to get all my starts. That’s pretty much what I need…… I can be that guy who makes 33, 34 starts and gives his team quality innings.”
It would be nice if that team was the Pittsburgh Pirates, maybe the team will prove me wrong and a deal will be announced tomorrow. But as we look at the pitching starved teams remaining in MLB, it seems less and less likely the Pirates will be able to land Francis, especially with the bank accounts attached to some of those clubs.
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