Mike Minor’s transition to the bullpen produced better than expected results with the 29-year-old going 6-for-6 in save opportunities.
While Minor has not been talked about in the same breath as Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas or Lorenzo Cain his departure from Kansas City would also have an impact. He stepped into the closers role last year after Kelvin Herrera lost that job. The former member of the Atlanta Braves rotation displayed a fastball that sat in the mid to upper 90s topping out at 97 while compiling a 2.55 ERA.
Almost all the talk around Minor has been centered on him being a relief pitcher in 2018 though Royals general manager Dayton Moore recently told MLB.com that the team would welcome him back as a reliever or a starter.
“We would,” Moore said when asked if the Royals welcomed a return. “He’s at a stage in his career where he knows his body. He knows what he needs to do. We went down this trail with Zack Greinke, Wade Davis. You know they have a dominant role on the pitching staff as a reliever. We saw that in Wade before we traded for him. We started him out as a starter but we always knew we could revert back to him being a reliever.
LHP Mike Minor will be among MLB’s first free agents to sign, because of his strong position in the market–among most coveted relievers, w/aggressive interest from a high volume of teams. 77 2/3 innings this season, 88 strikeouts, Adjusted ERA+ of 176. KC handled him perfectly.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 21, 2017
ESPN’s Buster Olney says that Minor will be one of the first free agent signings this winter. While he is not Wade Davis, Greg Holland or even Brandon Kintzler – Minor’s smaller contract likely has appealed to multiple teams.