Rockies sign Jeff Francis to Major League deal

The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a Major League contract with left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis. Francis (#26) will start for the Rockies today against the Los Angeles Angels (2:10 p.m. MDT). To make room on the active roster for Francis, the Rockies designated right-handed pitcher Esmil Rogers for assignment.

Francis, 31, rejoins Colorado after spending 2011 with Kansas City, and the first part of 2012 in Triple-A for Cincinnati. Francis was originally drafted by the Rockies in the first round (9th overall) of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. He pitched in the Majors for Colorado from 2004-10, going 55-50 with a 4.77 ERA (882.2 ip, 468 er), 287 walks and 503 strikeouts in 150 games, 149 starts. Francis owns a career Major League record of 61-66 with a 4.78 ERA (1065.0 ip, 566 er) in 181 games, 180 starts. The native of Vancouver, British Columbia went 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA (183.0 ip, 98 er) in 31 starts for Kansas City in 2011. Francis had spent all of 2012 at Triple-A Louisville in the Cincinnati organization, where he went 3-6 with a 3.72 ERA (77.1 ip, 32 er), 18 walks and 65 strikeouts in 12 starts. He was released by the Reds on Monday.

Rogers, 26, has been a member of the Rockies active roster for the entire 2012 season to date. In 23 games for the Rockies this season, he has gone 0-2 with an 8.06 ERA (25.2 ip, 23 er), 18 walks and 29 strikeouts. Rogers was originally signed by the Rockies as a non-drafted free agent on July 10, 2003 out of the Dominican Republic and has spent his entire professional career with Colorado. In 70 career Major League games, 22 starts, he has gone 8-11 with a 6.77 ERA (184.2 ip, 139 er), 93 walks and 161 strikeouts.

The Rockies have 39 players on the 40-man roster.