- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer
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Free-agent pitcher Jeff Francis has reached agreement on a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, a baseball source told ESPN.com. The deal includes an invitation to the Reds' major league spring training camp.
Francis and Chien-Ming Wang, who signed a minor league deal with the team in December, are expected to provide Triple-A insurance in case the Reds suffer an injury to one of their five starters.
Cincinnati's starting rotation consists of Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani. Bronson Arroyo, who has been a member of the Reds' staff since 2006, is on the free-agent market this winter and still looking for a spot.
Francis, 33, is 70-78 with a 4.94 ERA in nine seasons with the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals. He pitched for Cincinnati's Triple-A Louisville affiliate in 2012 before taking advantage of an opt-out clause in his contract to sign with the Rockies in June.
8hRandy Jennings, Special to ESPN.com