Astros: Pitcher Mike Minor could be a nice instate option

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JUNE 20: Mike Minor #23 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 20, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JUNE 20: Mike Minor #23 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 20, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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The answer to the Astros shortage of starting pitchers may just be right here in Texas. Rangers Mike Minor may be up on the trading block soon.

The Texas Rangers are finding themselves getting closer to being in that selling mode territory. They are currently 8.5 games behind the 1st place Astros and four back in the Wild Card race. Maybe Houston could help out in the cause and sweep Texas in the upcoming weekend series. Then make an offer for Mike Minor and he could just stay right here in town.

According to Jon Morosi of MLBNetwork, the odds of Minor getting traded by the deadline are going up. A couple of teams have apparently already expressed interest. The Astros weren’t mentioned, but as we know from the past that doesn’t mean anything.

Rumors indicate that Jon Daniels, Rangers President of Baseball Operations, is more willing to listen to offers for their left-handed ace pitcher. The Rangers will be playing in a shiny new stadium next season and would still like to put a contending team out on the field. Therefore, I’m sure the asking price may be a bit steep.

In a recent poll by MLB.com reporters, Minor comes in third behind Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton as 2019 Cy Young Award candidates. Those are pretty impressive names to be grouped with for the 31-year-old.

Minor is having one of the best seasons of his eight-year career. He’s carrying an ERA of 2.73, good for 2nd place in the League, sandwiched in between Morton and Verlander. He has an 8-4 win/loss record on the season. Looking at his player value among pitchers, he has a 6.0 WAR which is 1st in the League by a rather large margin. In comparison, Verlander has a 4.1 WAR, while Morton sits at 3.8.

He has proved to be a workhorse this season having pitched two complete games, one of those being a shutout. A pitcher that can go that late in a game would be a nice asset for a team that has been working their bullpen to the bone.

Minor is in the middle of a three-year contract with an annual salary coming in just under $10 million. Thus, he wouldn’t be one of those short-term rentals, as he isn’t eligible for free agency until 2021.

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With only three pitchers that can be relied on in the Astros current rotation, they are in an obvious need to add another reliable pitcher to the squad. That pitcher could be right under the Astros nose, just up I-45. The scary part would be is the cost, and I’d sure hate to see one or two of Houston’s prospects have a flourishing career in a Ranger uniform.

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