Divisional foe Rangers swoop in and take Astros target Mike Minor off the market.
All offseason, many Astros fans have hoped that they would try to improve the left-handed relievers in the bullpen. One target that has been mentioned a lot with the Astros is Mike Minor. While he is a former starting pitcher standout with the Braves, he found his niche as a reliever with the Royals in 2017 (2.55 ERA).
Even with success as a reliever, Minor was probably aching to get back in the rotation somewhere. No matter how much-rumored interest that the Astros had in signing him, they did not need another starting pitcher. With Tony Sipp in the fold, the Astros are looking for an upgrade. A hidden gem could be Cuban prospect Cionel Perez, who was added to the 40-man roster.
Buster Olney reported that the Astros and Red Sox were well positioned to land Minor on November 30th, but things change. Tonight, Ken Rosenthal was first to report that Minor has signed with the Rangers. While the details have not been released, Minor could start or relieve for the Rangers. The question is how long the Rangers signed him for?
Minor will be a starter with the Rangers.
According to Jon Morosi, the Rangers intend for him to be a starter. Minor missed the 2015-16 seasons before jumping back on with the Royals in 2017. His last stint as a starter didn’t go so well in 2014 with the Braves as he went 6-12 with a 4.77 ERA. Some pitchers reach a point where they do better out of the bullpen, so how much does Minor have left in the tank?
As an Astros fan, the fact that he will be a starter will be a good thing. The Rangers have tried a few reclamation projects in the rotation over the past few years. Cole Hamels will still be the ace, but Yu Darvish is gone now. Martin Perez and Doug Fister are the only other starting pitchers listed on the depth chart.
They are also one of the seven teams still in on Shohei Ohtani, so he could also be added to the rotation. Meanwhile, the Astros will trot out Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, and Collin McHugh. The Rangers have some work to do, but Minor is a start in the positive direction.
With some of the big names possibly coming off the market soon, we could see a rush of activity. It seems like baseball is waiting on Giancarlo Stanton and Ohtani to go off the market. Then the hot stove season will begin.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***