As KC Royals pitchers and catchers held their first official workout on Friday, the team announced yet another signing, adding yet another pitcher to the mix.
This time it was lefty Mike Minor, who is recovering from shoulder surgery (torn labrum in his throwing shoulder). He is expected to miss six to eight weeks (from Opening Day, so maybe we will see him on the mound in late May or early June). The Royals add yet another former Atlanta Brave (shocking) and hope he can follow the same course as Kris Medlen.
Minor will make $2 million this season and $4 million in 2017. There is a $10 million option for 2018 with a $1.25 million buyout.
There are also performance incentives for this year, like $175,000 for reaching 30, 60, 90, 120 days of service in the big leagues (the total incentives could net him close to $2 million). There are also performance incentives for 2017, like $225,000 when he reaches his 12th start and $225,000 for every start after (capping with his 30th start).
He was non-tendered by the Braves, but was expected to receive $5.6 million in arbitration. However, setbacks in his recovery left him a free agent.
Minor was the seventh overall pick back in 2009 out of Vanderbilt and reached the big leagues by 2010. He looked to anchor the Braves rotation for years after a solid 2013 season (13-9, 3.21 ERA in 204.2 innings with 181 strikeouts), but struggled in 2014 (6-12, 4.77 ERA in 145.1 innings with 165 hits allowed and 44 walks) and missed all of 2015.
Minor has always given up the home run ball (82 allowed in 652.2 career big league innings) and walked his share of batters (187).
In other spring training news, first baseman/DH Balbino Fuenmayor has been invited to big league camp. He has finished his rehab from ACL surgery, deemed himself 100%, and will be ready for Opening Day. Most likely, that will come with Triple-A Omaha.
In other news…
* Triple-A Omaha kept the front offices open for 84 straight hours. Yup, 84 straight hours with all kinds of deals and specials for fans. If only I lived out there…
*New Royals beat writer for the Kansas City Star Rustin Dodd writes about Medlen and his fight for a rotation spot.