Francisco, a former prospect, has bounced back and forth between the minors and majors for the past three seasons in Cincinnati, unable to stick in any of his brief stints. He entered this spring out of minor league options, and fell out of favor with manager Dusty Baker when he reported overweight. Francisco has plus power, but it comes with tons of strike outs and few walks. He should get the first opportunity to fill in for Chipper Jones until the former Hall of Famer returns in May. Francisco has also seen some time in left field in the minors.
For the Braves, Francisco could ultimately be on the Eric Hinske career path, right down to the decent power and lack of plate discipline that will ultimately keep him out of the lineup on a regular basis. Remember that Hinske was a starter at third base earlier in his career before carving out a niche as a left-handed pinch hitter, and regular/backup (more than a pinch hitter but not quite an everyday player) at first/third base and left field. Francisco may never make enough contact to play full time, but his power will keep him employed and if he proves to be able to handle first base and left field, he could grow into that role for the Braves.
In return, the Reds get J.J. Hoover, a former 10th round pick by the Braves back in 2008. Hoover had spent his entire professional career as a starter until 2011, when he split time between the rotation and the bullpen. The Braves shifted him to the pen when he got to Triple-A, largely because of their abundance of starting pitching. Hoover still has the stuff to start, and the Reds could move him back to the rotation, or he could be in the majors by the end of the 2012 season if they keep him in the bullpen.