The market is loaded with intriguing, convince-yourself-there’s-something-there, back-end starting pitching options, which is good, because the Cubs absolutely need to add at least one of those types this offseason.
So, for that reason – and because even more are coming after Wednesday’s non-tender deadline – I won’t be TOO bummed that Mike Minor is now off the board. But I know Michael is going to be bummed, because he was a big fan of the fit with the Cubs as a bounce-back target.
Seeing as Minor becomes the first free agent of the offseason to sign a multi-year deal, however, we probably weren’t alone in seeing him as a really nice bounce-back candidate:
Mike Minor has agreed to a two-year deal with the Royals pending physical, per source. @Ken_Rosenthal first with the agreement.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 30, 2020
The terms aren’t out yet for the soon-to-be 33-year-old lefty, but he was generally expected to be among the guys getting one year and $5 to $7 million. So two years and $10 million maybe? $12-14 million or so? If he does wind up getting that much, it’ll be just the latest sign that the market isn’t absolutely decimated, especially since he and some of the other short-term starting pitchers are getting these deals before the non-tender deadline.
Then again, as it was with Robbie Ray (one year, $8 million), Drew Smyly (one year, $11 million), and Charlie Morton (one year, $15 million), maybe we’re just seeing that teams are willing to pay more and be aggressive for (1) short-term deals, on (2) guys they are specifically targeting. Given that Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman accepted qualifying offers, it could just be a situation where the best starters in the non-Bauer tier are simply happy to get a sizable one-year deal, and then see what’s what after the pandemic theoretically clears by next fall.
There’s also the issue of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires after next year, and could fundamentally reshape the way money is distributed throughout baseball. To that end, anybody getting a multi-year deal of any length this offseason is going to be interesting, because it’s a bet by the team and the player that, hey, actually, things might not be so different in 2022+. I wouldn’t have expected Minor to be the first guy to show up on that list or Kansas City to be the first team to do it, but that was probably what it took for the Royals to get the deal locked down right now. I expect Minor would’ve otherwise had plenty of one-year offers.