Jan 25, 2012, 11:14 PM EDT
The deal carries an invitation to major league spring training, where Francis will presumably get a shot at landing a spot in Cincinnati’s starting rotation.
Francis, 31, posted a troubling 4.82 ERA and 91/39 K/BB ratio in 183 innings last season for the Royals. But all minor league deals are low-risk, and the Reds can simply try someone else if he doesn’t pan out as the innings-eater they were hoping for.
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