Royals lefty Mike Minor has declined his $10-million mutual option, officially making him a free agent according to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. As a result of opting out, Minor will receive a $1.25-million buyout.
Minor, who turns 30 in December, enjoyed a renaissance year out of the bullpen pitching for the first time since the 2014 season. In 65 appearances, Minor went 6-6 with a 2.55 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a career-high 10.2 K/9 rate. Minor also picked up six saves across the season, and the Royals may look to bringing him back with the chance to become the club’s closer.
As a left-hander who had much success against lefties holding them to a .161/.228/.196 line as well as righties with a .221/.281/.383 slash line, Minor should garner a significant amount of interest on the open market. There are concerns regarding his injury history that kept him out for two whole seasons, but after an impressive 2017 campaign, Minor will be one of the top bullpen arms on the market.
There will be a number of teams looking for his services as a setup man, and he could even receive some interest as a closer for a club lacking bullpen depth. Regardless, the emphasis on having a deep bullpen is becoming more and more prevalent in the MLB, so Minor should have no problem signing a respectable deal to join a team’s bullpen.