Seeking depth for their starting rotation, the Kansas City Royals signed left-hander Mike Minor to a two-year contract Friday.
The Royals announced Minor's deal on Twitter. Per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com, Minor will make $6 million through 2017, and the agreement includes a mutual option for 2018 valued at $10 million with a $1.5 million buyout.
To make room for Minor, per MLB Roster Moves, the Royals put left-handed starter Jason Vargas on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Per Flanagan, the Royals believe there is a "slim chance" Vargas pitches this season after he went under the knife on Aug. 5.
Minor isn't coming to Kansas City with a track record of staying healthy. The 28-year-old missed all of 2015 after having surgery in May to repair a slightly torn labrum in his left (pitching) shoulder.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore told reporters (via Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star) that Minor will likely miss "six weeks to two months" of the regular season while he continues to rehab his shoulder.
The Royals are betting on Minor's youth and upside with this deal. He spent the first five years of his career with the Atlanta Braves, looking like a terrific young piece in their rotation in 2013 with career highs in starts (32), innings (204.2), ERA (3.21), strikeouts (181) and WHIP (1.09).
In 2014, even though things started to fall apart for Minor with a 4.77 ERA in 25 starts, he still had occasional moments of brilliance, via MLB.com:
Moore is not afraid to take risks on starting pitchers. He already signed Ian Kennedy, who had a 4.28 ERA last season, to a five-year contract. Chris Young was a reclamation project taken on in 2015 and posted a 3.06 ERA in 34 games (18 starts).
The Royals' success stems largely from an outstanding defense, which will put less pressure on Minor to overpower hitters when he returns. If his shoulder is close to 100 percent, this signing will be one of the biggest offseason steals.
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