Francis signed with Cincinnati back before the 2012 season also, with basically the same kind of deal. That deal also included a June 1st opt-out clause, which Francis exercised before signing a deal with Colorado. During 2012, Francis went 3-6 with a 3.72 ERA for the Louisville Bats, never reaching the majors resulting in him opting out of the contract. 2012 was not the year to be a minor league pitcher hoping for a shot at the big league rotation as 161 of the 162 regular season starts were made by the Opening Day starting rotation. Only a double header late in the year forced the Reds to use a sixth starter for one game.
Francis is a nine-year veteran, having pitched in the major leagues for both Colorado and Kansas City. The 33-year old lefty has compiled a career record of 70-78, with an ERA of 4.94 in 216 career starts. With the Reds rotation having a possible question mark in the depth department, Francis may be able to earn a spot start or two in case of injury or udner-performance in 2014. Perhaps, though unlikely, if he impresses enough during the spring he could even earn the fifth spot, while allowing the Reds to limit Tony Cingrani's innings throughout the year.
Further details of the agreement between Francis and the Reds are not available at this time, such as if he will have an opt-out clause again.
And you guys thought Walt wouldn't make another major signing...