Third baseman Juan Francisco, who declined an assignment by the Rays to Triple-A Durham to test free agency, has signed with the Central League Yomiuri Giants in Japan, according to the Japan Times. Francisco tailed off after a strong start with Toronto in 2014 and finished with a slash line of .220/.291/.456.
Rays infielder Juan Francisco has decided to opt out of his minor league contract and become a free agent, instead of going to Triple-A Durham, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Francisco hit .150 with two home runs and four RBI in 40 plate appearances this spring.
The Rays have optioned catcher Curt Casali and pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser to Triple-A Durham. Casali was unable to beat out Bobby Wilson for the team's backup-catcher role, while Riefenhauser failed to win a spot in the bullpen. The Rays have also reassigned infielder Jake Elmore and third baseman Juan Francisco to Durham.
Rays infielder Juan Francisco has been assigned to Triple-A Durham, according to the Tampa Tribune. Francisco has until Sunday to accept the assignment. The 27-year-old completed the spring with a batting average of .150 with two home runs, four RBI and 18 strikeouts.
Juan Francisco chose to sign a minor-league deal with the Rays this offseason since he felt the team presented him with the best opportunity to make a major-league roster, according to MLB.com. "I think here I have a better chance to play DH, a position," said Francisco, adding that he's comfortable at first or third base. "So I have better chances to play here, get some playing time with the Rays." Francisco added his experience playing in the AL East last season with Toronto was also a factor in his decision to take the Rays offer over the other ones he had on the table. "I feel more comfortable playing in the American League East. I know the league. I know the pitchers," Francisco said through an interpreter. "It's better for me to play in the American League because of the DH, so I have a better chance to play."
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