Blue Jays Sign Canadian Jeff Francis to Minor League Contract
Jeff Francis is coming home, as the British Columbia native has signed a Minor League contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. His deal includes an invite to Spring Training, and he will likely serve as pitching depth from the Minor Leagues.
As the 9th Overall pick in the 2002 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies, Jeff Francis entered the league with tons of hype, especially from North of the border. Francis enjoyed success early in his career with the Rockies. Although his peripheral numbers were not as dominant, he recorded win totals of 14, 13 and 17 from 2005-2007.
In 2008, Jeff Francis underwent shoulder surgery which cost him the entire season, and he has struggled to find his footing at the MLB level ever since. His last full season at the Major League level came in 2011 with the Kansas City Royals where he threw 183.0 innings, albeit for a record of 6-16.
To be clear, if Jeff Francis sees much time in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform in 2015, something has probably gone wrong. Very wrong. That being said, the signing of a Canadian is always a welcome sign in Toronto. I’m sure Don Cherry is giving a thumbs-up somewhere.
It is most likely that Jeff Francis begins the season in AAA with the Buffalo Bisons, where Alex Anthopoulos seems intent on building pitching depth. Francis will join fellow BC native Brett Lawrie and Ontario native Dalton Pompey as Canadians who are at, or close to, the Major League level for the Toronto Blue Jays.