The San Francisco Giants have reached agreement on a deal with outfielder Jeff Francoeur, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. According to Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News, it is a minor league contract and Francoeur will report to Triple-A Fresno. The 29-year old was designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals on June 30th and released six days later.
The Giants, who have been looking for outfield help since losing Angel Pagan to injury, will likely use Francoeur in a platoon with left fielder Andres Torres if he succeeds at Triple-A. The move is a low-risk one for San Francisco, but Francoeur's past power abilities and success against lefties make it worthwhile. The Royals will have to pay the approximately $3.2 million left on his contract for the year, with the Giants paying only a pro-rated league minimum if Francoeur appears in the majors.
In 59 games as the Royals' right fielder this year, Francoeur hit only .208 with 3 HR and 13 RBI, but still drew interest from a few teams after his release. As of Sunday night, he had narrowed his list down to three finalists, including the Cincinnati Reds, Giants, and an unidentified team.
The Giants have been known to be pursuing outfield help for weeks, but the Francoeur signing comes as a bit of a surprise after Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that the team had concerns about him. According to Schulman, Giants' executives responded to Schulman's questions about Francoeur with "scrunched faces and worries about his outfield play".
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