New York could add a starter, and one KC Royals pitcher will tempt them.
Trying to bolster their starting rotation in the offseason, the Yankees signed free agent Corey Kluber and traded for Jameson Taillon.
Neither move has panned out so far. Although Kluber started well with a 4-3 record, 3.04 ERA and 9.3 SO9 in 10 starts, he hasn’t pitched since a right rotator cuff strain landed him on the Injured List in late May. The club moved him from the 10-day to 60-day IL June 5, so he won’t see action until at least late July. Taillon, a 14-game winner with Pittsburgh in 2018, is 1-4, 5.59 in 13 starts.
The Yankees have Gerrit Cole, of course, who’s 8-3, but only Domingo German and Kluber have at least four wins, and the starters own just 20 of the team’s 38 victories through Saturday. New York could use another reliable pitcher in its rotation.
The Royals’ Mike Minor fits that bill.
Minor is a durable hurler who’s pitched over 200 innings twice and reached 179.1 once. He went 12-8 and 14-10 for Texas in 2018 and 2019.
More immediately important is Minor’s 2021 work. He struck out six, walked one, and gave up two runs to beat Boston Sunday and push his record to 6-4. Minor is tied with Brad Keller for the club lead in wins and games started (15). He’s pitched more innings (86.1) than any other Kansas City starter, is averaging almost six frames per start, and leads the staff with 92 strikeouts. The lefty’s WHIP is 1.18, his OBA .234.
Simply put, Minor is the KC Royals’ ace, a starter who should attract considerable market attention in the next few weeks. He’s on a two-year contract, but that won’t prevent teams from calling and the Royals from talking.
Because Minor pitched Sunday, the Yankees won’t face him this week—his regular turn in the rotation won’t come until the Royals play Texas Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Don’t be surprised if the Yankees scout him then. They may not be able to resist.
The KC Royals open a three-game series with the Yankees Tuesday night in New York. The Yankees are in the hunt, need some help, and may be watching Kansas City’s roster closely.