In all honesty, Rangers left-hander Mike Minor has seemed like a rather strong trade candidate for the entirety of the 2019 season. But for at least a few weeks just before and immediately coming out of the All-Star break, it looked like Texas might need the first-time All-Star around for a playoff run, as they peaked at 10 games over .500 (46-36) on June 28 and were in the second AL Wild Card spot as late as July 1. But after losing eight in a row and 14 of their last 18, their motivation to keep Minor has surely decreased, no doubt.
Yes, you might point out that Minor is under contract for one more season — he’s owed $9.8 million (which is extremely affordable these days for a front-line veteran starter) in 2020. For that reason, it’s not absolutely urgent that they trade Minor before the deadline this year, and since GM Jon Daniels is so adept at putting together a competitive team, Texas could theoretically keep Minor around and try to contend for a Wild Card spot again next year — even though the Astros don’t appear close to falling off, so the Rangers’ odds of winning the division in 2020 are very low.
But will he ever be more valuable than he is right now? Probably not, and for that reason, it makes sense for Texas to ship him off elsewhere — especially since their pipeline of young players is rather lacking compared to those of most other clubs. Minor, who has a 3.83 career ERA and has posted ERAs over 4.00 in five of his eight major-league seasons, has a 2.86 ERA (good for second among qualified AL starters) this season — a particularly impressive feat considering he’s pitching his home games in a hitter-friendly park and is experiencing this success during what is widely believed to be a juiced-ball era. Along with that, he has a 1.16 WHIP, 131 strikeouts, and 45 walks over 20 starts (129 innings), and he’s tied for the major-league lead in complete games (2) and shutouts (1).
Minor’s been great, but since he’s into his thirties and has no prolonged track record of this type of success, it seems logical for the Rangers to sell high while they can and hope that a contender in need of a rotation upgrade is willing to pay up. With Zack Wheeler bouncing back from a shoulder ailment, Madison Bumgarner and Trevor Bauer seeming less likely to be moved due to their teams’ success, and the Tigers reportedly asking for a king’s ransom in exchange for Matthew Boyd, it seems very likely that Minor will at least be one of the top two starting pitchers (along with Marcus Stroman) on the trade market this month, if not the outright best, and the fact that he’s under control for next year should make him even more attractive.
Where do you think Minor will end up at the end of this month?
Where will the Rangers trade Mike Minor?
This poll is closed
He’s not getting traded