The New York Mets are among the teams interested in Texas Rangers starter, Mike Minor. Is there a realistic deal that could be reached?
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last week the Texas Rangers starter Mike Minor was a trade chip drawing interest from teams with the most active being the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets. While the Phillies interested had been reported previously and covered here at Nolan Writin by Travis Koch, the Mets interest is a more recent development.
Why Is Mike Minor Valuable?
The 31-year old lefty is coming off an impressive return to a Major League rotation in 2018 making 28 starts for the Texas Rangers. After signing a lucrative 3-year deal with Texas last offseason, 2018 was Minor’s opportunity to show he could make his way as a starter again after a series of injuries had forced him into the bullpen.
Minor surely impressed back in the rotation going 12-8 on a bad Rangers club. His 4.18 ERA may not be striking at a glance but he did manage a 1.121 WHIP and a 3.7 WAR, the highest of his career. While Minor headlines the Rangers rotation, teams that are interested more look at him as a mid-to-late rotation option that can also give you serviceable innings out of the bullpen if needed.
Are The Mets An Option?
Obviously as reported, the New York Mets are heavily interested in Minor but do they represent a really viable option for the lefty. Minor’s best suitors seem to be teams that are contending now, but on a bit of a budget and might be focusing their free agency dollars somewhere else. Minor has two years left on his contract worth just under $20 million which is a manageable amount for a team needing starting pitching.
While the Mets are without a doubt a better team than Texas is, they don’t really strike me as contenders this year. In 2018 they finished 4th in the NL East behind the Braves, Nationals, and Phillies and were 13 games back in the division, 13.5 games back in the NL Wild Card. They have added Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz this offseason but I’m not sure that’s enough to turn them into a legit contender. Maybe if their eyes are on 2020, Minor presents an option for that year too but I think Minor would better fit a team looking to win in 2019. Additionally, he has a no-trade clause that includes the Mets so any deal would face that additional stumbling block.
Chances a Deal Gets Done
Overall, while I think Minor getting dealt this offseason is fairly likely, it won’t be the Mets. They just don’t fit the profile of a team willing to part with prospects for Minor and with them being on his no-trade list, I think he would find it hard to waive his clause to go to a team not a whole lot closer to the playoffs than the Rangers.