No Kansas City Royals player improved their career outlook more in 2017 than Mike Minor. Some guys put up great contract-year numbers. But given the uncertainty of what Minor would bring to the bullpen, he came away a big winner. Now, we wait to see who wins the sweepstakes.
An ideal candidate would have some money to spend and some room for error should Minor regress mightily in 2018.
To become a free agent, Minor had to decline a mutual option with the club for 2018. Heading into the season, the idea that Minor would turn down $10 million from the Kansas City Royals to test free agency would have been laughable. That’s what a remarkable turnaround season will do for you.
Minor proved he could handle any role in the bullpen. As a former starter, he can pitch a few innings with no ill effects. The left-hander can be a specialist, holding left-handed hitters to a .163 batting average and no home runs. Beyond that, Minor proved he could handle high-leverage situations. He pitching incredible well as a setup man and closer. His versatility could be his greatest asset.
However, it clouds his value a bit. He will likely sign with a team that sees him filling its closer role. If that doesn’t happen, Minor could settle for an eight-inning position with room for advancement. It’s incredibly hard to predict how teams will view Minor after he missed all of 2015 and 2016 recovering from shoulder surgery. An ideal candidate would have some money to spend and some room for error should Minor regress mightily in 2018.
That leads us to the Astros. The World Series champion’s biggest weakness is the bullpen — with the team in dire need of a left-handed option.
Logical Spot: Houston Astros