The Kansas City Royals have agreed to terms with free-agent left-hander Mike Minor, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand adds that Minor and the Royals have agreed to a two-year contract. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Minor's contract will pay him a total of $18 million guaranteed for 2021 and 2022, and the deal also includes a $13 million club option/$1 million buyout for 2023.
Minor, who turns 33 in late December, is coming off a 2020 season for the Rangers and A's in which he pitched to a 5.56 ERA/79 ERA+ in 11 starts and one relief appearance. However, he's not far removed from a 2019 campaign that saw him place in the top 10 of the AL Cy Young balloting. Although Minor lost some fastball velocity this past season, his underlying performance at the command and control level remained strong. The challenge moving forward will be to locate his slider better and reduce his home run rate. For his career, Minor has an ERA+ of 107 across parts of nine major-league seasons. Minor previously pitched for the Royals in 2017.
Coming into the offseason, Minor ranked 29th among R.J. Anderson's top 60 free agents for 2020-21.
Although the Royals don't figure to contend in 2021, they were still in need of some veteran stability in the rotation. Minor has the potential to provide just that. In the abbreviated 2020 season, the Royals ranked 18th in MLB with a rotation ERA of 4.70.