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Colorado Rockies decline options on Francis, Dotel

In two expected moves made by the Rockies front office, Jeff Francis and Octavio Dotel have both had their 2011 options declined.

Francis, 29, had a $7M club option on his 4 year, $13.25M contract he signed prior to the 2007 season. During the 2010 season, Francis made a total of 19 starts (and also pitched 1 game in relief), posting a 5.00 ERA, 3.88 FIP, and 3.94 xFIP, striking out 67 while walking 23. Francis missed the entire 2009 season with labrum surgery, and was looked at to be a potential saving grace for the back-end of the Rockies' rotation.

While the individual move of declining Francis' move seems somewhat obvious on its own, the onus is now on the club to provide some sort of LHP option to the 2011 rotation, whether by Free Agency, trade, or resigning Francis - or more critically, LHP Jorge De La Rosa. The word from Troy Renck is that the Rockies and Francis are working to come to terms on a new contract, one that would likely provide a very low base of pay and scale up through various workload incentives.

Francis, before his injury and the emergence of Ubaldo Jimenez, was viewed as the Rockies' ace, sporting a low-90s fastball and a very strong changeup.

Octavio Dotel was acquired by the Rockies on September 18, 2010, in hopes of bolstering the bullpen and taking some workload off of Matt Belisle and Rafael Betancourt while the Rockies made their final playoff push. This didn't work well in any fashion, as fatigue had clearly caught up to the Rockies (and Jim Tracy kept using Matt Belisle the same amount anyhow). Dotel, while he posted a respectable 4.08 ERA (4.20 FIP, 4.27 xFIP) for the 2010 season while closing for the Pirates, setting up for the Dodgers and Rockies, his Rockies numbers were less than stellar (5.02 ERA, 5.52 FIP, 5.64 xFIP).

Dotel signed a 1-year, $3.5M contract with Pittsburgh ($3.25 2010, $4.5M 2011 option, $250K buyout - paid in part by Colorado and Los Angeles). The Rockies were Dotel's 10th team in his 12 year MLB career.