1. LHP Mike Minor (signed through 2020)
The known priority for the Rangers in terms of extensions is Mike Minor. Having signed a three-year, $28 million contract with Texas prior to the 2018 season, Minor was originally brought in as a high-priced flyer with hopes that he could have an effective return to the big league rotation. The value he’s provided since has far exceed the cost of the deal with Minor emerging as a legitimate top of the rotation starter.
After missing all of 2015 and 2016, Minor impressed in the bullpen for the Royals in 2017 which prompted the interest from Texas. In 2018, Minor had a successful foray back into the rotation making 28 starts for the Rangers posting a 4.18 ERA. In 2019, Minor formed a stellar top two starters with Lance Lynn who joined as a free agent last offseason. Minor finished the year with a 4.1 fWAR and a 3.59 ERA while throwing 200 innings for just the second time in his career.
What the Rangers and Minor will due regarding their long-term future has been debated to numerous ends. Last season it seemed likely that Minor could dealt at the Trade Deadline but when that came and passed, the attention turned to an extension. For a club like the Rangers, it seems unwise to let Minor leave next offseason for nothing. Texas is still at least a season away from being a legitimate playoff contender and letting a top-end starter leave for nothing in return would be a waste of an asset. Of course, the best scenario for the Texas Rangers is to ink Minor to a contract extension that keeps him in the rotation for at least a few more years.
Minor has stated that he’s open to a contract extension that would keep him in Arlington.
The 32-year old seems to have enjoyed his time with the Rangers and a long-term marriage would be beneficial for both parties. While projections show that Minor is likely to regress some in 2020, he should still factor in to the middle of the rotation for a few more seasons. Any extension will see Minor get a pay raise on the $9.5 million he’s due in 2020, but he shouldn’t command ace money. Texas needs to expedite a deal with Minor this year or they pretty much have to move him at the trade deadline.