Reds release veteran Francis at his request
Left-hander exercises opt-out clause in Minor League contract
In 12 starts with Louisville this season, the 31-year-old Francis went 3-6 with a 3.72 ERA over 77 1/3 innings. He struck out 65 batters while walking 18.
Francis spent last season pitching for the Royals, notching a 6-16 record and 4.82 ERA over 183 innings in 31 starts. He had spent his first six seasons in Colorado, where he went 55-50 with three double-digit-win seasons.
For his Major League career, Francis is 61-66 with a 4.78 ERA in 181 games, all but one of which were starts.