JANUARY 25: The Rangers have interest in keeping Minor but haven’t yet begun contract talks with either the left-hander or any other players, GM Jon Daniels told Sullivan and other reporters. “We haven’t had any extension discussions at this point. That’s more a February or March topic conversation with some guys we may hit on,” Daniels said.
JANUARY 24: Southpaw Mike Minor has already more than made good on his side of the three-year bargain he struck with the Rangers. With one more season left on that deal, he’s interested in working out a new pact to stay for more.
As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) and MLB.com’s TR Sullivan (Twitter link) report, Minor says he would like to hold discussions with the Texas organizations. It doesn’t seem that deep talks (if any) have been held to date, but spring camp is generally prime time for internal dealmaking.
Minor has thus far rewarded the Rangers’ faith. After bouncing back from a two-year layoff in a strong 2017 season with the Royals, he secured a surprising three-year, $28MM deal — a contractual model the Texas club has now followed in two more offseasons. The 32-year-old has handily outperformed that earning level, contributing 365 1/3 innings of 3.84 ERA ball with 8.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.
Unfortunately, the Rangers have mostly struggled despite Minor’s contributions. But that isn’t a drawback so much as a motivating factor for the lefty.
“For sure,” Minor said when asked about his interest in sticking around. “I feel like I’ve endured the worst part of it. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to be a part of it. I don’t want to jump ship now when it’s going to be good.”
It’ll certainly be interesting to see how talks proceed. The Rangers have spurned trade interest in Minor even through the losing campaigns, presumably holding out hope he’d be a part of the team’s desired 2020 resurgence. There’s little question they value the veteran quite highly.
Still, it stands to reason the team will be wary of committing too much money over too long a term. There are quite a few positives and demerits in Minor’s profile.
For one thing, there’s Minor’s worrisome history of shoulder ailments to consider. But it’s hard to deny he has turned the page after two full seasons. Age is an obvious factor, but Minor is throwing harder than he did in his youth and produces as much spin on his fastball as any pitcher in the game. He’s not a dominating strikeout pitcher by any means but Statcast readings make clear he’s quite proficient at avoiding hard contact.