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Cincinnati Reds Release Jeff Francis

Mar 31, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jeff Francis pitches during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Mar 31, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jeff Francis pitches during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

The Cincinnati Reds have released left-handed starter Jeff Francis upon his request, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. Francis’ contract included an opt-out clause for June 1 which the 31-year-old elected to exercise.

After spending the 2011 season with the Kansas City Royals, Francis signed a minor league contract with the Reds this January. Over his 12 starts for Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate, Francis posted an ERA and WHIP of 3.72 and 1.319 in 77 1/3 innings of work. Francis maintained 7.6 SO/9 and 2.1 BB/9.

Last season Francis started 31 games for the Royals and logged 183 innings. Over that span, Francis managed an ERA and WHIP of 4.82 and 1.437 with 4.5 SO/9 and 1.9 BB/9.

Francis could appeal to teams looking to pad their pitching depth this summer. This morning it was reported that the Boston Red Sox are one team interested in bolstering its starting pitching depth.