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Jeff Francoeur clears waivers, becomes a free agent

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The Texas Rangers have announced that Jeff Francoeur has cleared waivers, been outrighted to the minors, and opted to decline the outright assignment and become a free agent.

This should not be surprising news.  Although there were occasional hints from the media that maybe the Rangers would bring Francoeur back in 2011, there seemed to be no chance that the Rangers wouldn't either non-tender or waive him after the 2010 season, given that he was arbitration-eligible and was likely to make anywhere from $5-7 million, after having made $5 million in 2010.

Francoeur was productive for the Rangers in the regular season after having been acquired in exchange for Joaquin Arias, hitting .340/.357/.491 in 56 plate appearances, but he was brought to Texas expressly to mash lefties in the playoffs.  That, Francoeur failed to do, going 3 for 24 in the playoffs.

Still, Francoeur was part of one of the most memorable moments of the season for the Rangers, the walk-off HBP against Mariano Rivera and the Yankees, and he'll always be fondly remembered as the guy who allowed Texas to dump Joaquin Arias on someone else.