Another pitcher comes off the board. The Kansas City Royals are signing left-handed pitcher Mike Minor to a two-year contract, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. The first to report the agreement, though, was Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The development is noteworthy in the New York Yankees’ universe because it is the second high-profile pitcher that comes off the board in the free agency period, after Charlie Morton agreed to join the Atlanta Braves a few days ago.
Of course, Morton and Minor are in two different tiers, but Minor wouldn’t have been a bad addition to a Yankees’ rotation that is in dire need of some depth. Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, and James Paxton are all free agents and eligible to sign with any team of their liking, and Luis Severino won’t be an option until June or July.
The New York Yankees, therefore, need to address the starting rotation as soon as possible, and one can’t help but worry that pieces are starting to come off the board and the team is patiently waiting.
He could have given some veteran depth to the Yankees
Minor started the 2020 season with the Texas Rangers after having a very good 2019, with a 3.59 ERA, 200 strikeouts and 1.24 WHIP in 32 starts. He was traded prior to the deadline to the contending Oakland Athletics. All in all, his 2020 was disappointing, with a 5.56 ERA in 12 starts with both teams.
He pitched with the Royals back in 2016 and is expected to pitch at the top of the rotation this time around. He will likely mentor one of the youngest and most talented groups of starters in MLB, including Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, and some notable prospects.
For the Yankees, though, the time to pounce on the free agent market starts now. They probably won’t sign Trevor Bauer, but one can never say never, as they should be monitoring his market.
The Yankees could opt to bring one or two of their own free agent pitchers, with Tanaka being the likeliest and Happ the unlikeliest. Minor could have been a good, relatively cheap bounceback candidate, but as long as the team addresses the rotation in some way, the fans won’t complain.