No. 4 Mike Minor
The most recent starter to be reborn out of the Kansas City Royals bullpen is Mike Minor. He just became a free agent after turning down his player option, but Kansas City is interested in bringing him back. Minor will probably not be overly expensive. And if the team decides not to blow everything up, he could return.
In his relief debut with the Royals, there was a lot to like about Minor. His 2.55 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 0.6 HR/9 and 10.2 K/9 are all fantastic. He was arguably the most consistent pitcher in the Royals bullpen and ended the year as closer for good reason. Minor was dominant against left-handed hitters but also managed to hold righties to a .223./.281/.383 line. This proves that he can get hitters out from both sides of the plate, which is a necessity for a closer.
If Minor is re-signed by the Kansas City Royals, there is no doubt that he will open the year as closer. Whether he comes back or not depends on a couple of factors. The relief pitching market would have to develop in a way that would make him affordable for the Royals’ plans. Plus, those plans would have to involve avoiding a massive rebuild that would make an effective closer an afterthought. If both of those boxes are checked, the ninth inning will belong to him in 2018.