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Rays sign Juan Francisco to minor league deal

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Rays have signed slugging third baseman Juan Francisco to a minor league contract.

Francisco played in 106 games for the Blue Jays last season and showcased some serious power potential, though that only materialized in 16 homeruns in 320 plate appearances.

The former Reds prospect joined the Blue Jays in 2014 on a minor league deal after being traded to the Braves and Brewers in the seasons prior. Mid-season, the now-departed Padres front office even attempted a trade of Chase Headley for Francisco, given his team control through 2017, but the deal was never finalized.

Unhappy with his gaudy 36% strikeout rate, Toronto attempted to sneak Francisco through waivers this off-season but the Dominican corner infielder was claimed by the Red Sox. After the signing of outfielder Hanley Ramirez created a roster jam in Boston, he was designated again, and eventually non-tendered, making him a free agent.

MLB Trade Rumors projected Francisco to a $2.2 million salary next season, so his signing to a minor league deal could provide excellent value for the Rays next season -- and in the mean time, keeps a slot open on the 40 man roster for more roster shuffling.

It might take an injury for Francisco to get his turn, but when he arrives, here's to the boomstick.