We Lost Jeff Francis! (Yawn.)
I saw several tweets yesterday bemoaning the fact that the Twins didn't get Jeff Francis considering he signed a minor league deal with the Reds. I've certainly cast a skeptical eye towards the Twins aggressive stance early in this offseason, especially in the bullpen. But the Francis signing, IMHO, points out the risk/reward of waiting out the musical chairs game that is the free agent market:
Reward - when the music stops, there can be an awful lot of players anxious to take a seat in your remaining chair
Risk - all of those players might kinda suck.
When I look at Francis, I wonder why anyone would bemoan missing out on him. MLB GMs seem to agree - he just signed a minor league deal with a team in which there is no guarantee of a rotation spot. All by itself, that's revealing. But there is plenty of other evidence:
1. His fastball lost a couple of mph and tops out at about 84 according to rotowire.com
2. His k rate was down in the mid 4s last year.
3. He was hit like a pinata at a ADHD kids birthday party last year.
I expect that last point is why so many analysts kind of like him - it's almost unfathomable that a guy can give up 220+ hits in 180 innings without some bad luck being involved. That may be true, but there is another explanation - a pitcher can just kinda suck. Those guys get weeded out in a hurry and thus don't impact Voros McCracken's correlation coefficient much, but there is no question they exist. I suspect yesterday's deal reflects MLB's organic weeding process more than it reflects the Twins cluelessness.