Reinforcing the back end of the bullpen remains a pressing need for the Chicago Cubs this winter, but at least one quality option has reportedly been taken off the board (sorta):
Free-agent left-hander Mike Minor in agreement with #Rangers, sources tell The Athletic. Terms not known. Performance as reliever last season, background as starter gives Texas options.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 5, 2017
In a later tweet, Rosenthal indicated that the deal is done, pending a physical, though the terms are still not known.
I was pretty openly in favor of the Cubs signing Minor as a reliever this offseason – in fact, we discussed it as recently as this morning. And given his youth (29), expected contract demands (something between 3/$24M and 4/$28M), history as a starter, breakout 2017 campaign and, well, overall awesome-ness, he would’ve been a pretty great addition to this team.
HOWEVER, I suddenly don’t feel too bad about missing out:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 5, 2017
There was always a chance Minor could return to starting (even after dominating so convincingly out of the pen last season) and if the Cubs weren’t willing to give him that sort of opportunity, well, you can understand why he went elsewhere.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of other relief options out there, including the other guy connected to the Cubs this morning, Brandon Morrow, and another guy I like a lot, Addison Reed. And that’s just in free agency. In trade rumors, the Cubs have already been connected to Rays closer Alex Colome and Orioles closer Zach Britton. Of course, there’s also always the chance that they can reunite with 2017 closer Wade Davis, as well.
In the end, it’s a bummer that the Cubs missed out on Minor, but if there were starting opportunities out there for him, well, it’s not like they really missed out at all … right?