Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says the Mets are among four teams “keeping tabs” on LHP Jeff Francis.
Francis, 31, went 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA 183 innings over 31 starts for the Royals last season. Although he allowed 224 hits, he allowed just 39 walks while striking out 91.
Matthew Cerrone: The market for Francis has dwindled. During the Winter Meetings, it seemed like more teams were interested in him than there are now. At that time, I believe he was seeking a two-year deal (like Chris Capuano), but there were also people who predicted he would eventually sign a minor-league deal (like Joel Pineiro).
I have heard the Mets are willing to spend $2 million or so on a player, but I don’t expect them to add him to the 40-man, which would mean a minor-league deal. I realize Francis had 16 losses last year, but his advanced statistics indicate he actually performed better than he did when he won 17 games in 2007. So, he could end up being a bargain, if he agreed to come to St. Lucie.