In late Sunday night reporting it is anticipated the KC Royals will sign the left-hander to a contract soon as long as he passes his physical.
First reported by Ken Rosenthal, it is expected that Mike Minor will join the KC Royals for the second time in his career. After missing 2015 to replace a torn labrum, Minor signed a deal with the club in ’16. Although he did not make it to the big leagues that season as minor league appearances were shut down early due to more pain, he finally arrived in ’17.
Minor went on to have a fantastic season in the bullpen that year striking out 88 in 77 2/3 innings, posting a 1.02 WHIP, 2.55 ERA, and the best ERA+ of his career, 176. He then went on to the Texas Rangers who brought him back as a starter and he responded with two decent years, evening finishing eighth in Cy Young voting in ’19.
This past summer was not as successful although after a trade to the Oakland A’s Minor appeared to right the ship after a very rough start in Arlington. His overall ERA was still the second-worst in his career as well as allowing the most home runs per nine innings he ever had.
With an expected two-year agreement between Minor and the Royals the two big questions are what role does he play and how does this affect the prospects ready to come up? Minor proved he could be an excellent reliever but depending on the plans for Danny Duffy he could continue to be a starter.
The KC Royals currently have Brady Singer, Brad Keller, Kris Bubic locked in with Duffy, Carlos Hernandez, and Jakob Junis possibly in the starting mix. The addition of Minor could alter the look of the rotation unless he is slotted for a bullpen role.
It is interesting to note that Oakland shifted him to a reliever for the playoffs and he responded very well allowing no runs and only three baserunners in three and two-thirds innings. He struck out two and only walked one batter.
Spotrac.com is putting Minor’s market value at just over $10.5 million per year. It would be hard to see the KC Royals shelling that out over two years for a pitcher entering his age-33 season so we will see what the final numbers are once the contract is officially in place.
If Minor moves to the bullpen this could be a very good deal. It would make more sense than to have him block the path of an upcoming star. It is a sure sign that owner John Sherman is ready to spend money to help the team get back into contention.