Royals sign lefty starter Mike Minor to 2-year, $18M deal

New Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Mike Minor. (Adam Hunger/AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Left-hander Mike Minor and the Kansas City Royals have finalized an $18 million, two-year deal, reuniting the 32-year-old starter with the club that helped him revive his career.

Kansas City announced the signing Monday, bringing in the 2019 All-Star to boost a rotation that leaned largely on unproven youngsters in 2020. The contract includes a $13 million club option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout.

"We know we needed to add a starter to our young rotation," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "We feel like Mikey gives us a lot of stability, a lot of focus. Somebody who has been successful, can provide us innings, and so it’s just a really, really good fit for us, and we’re grateful that he’s once again going to be a Kansas City Royal."

The 32-year-old Minor split 2020 between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics, going 1-6 with a 5.56 ERA and diminished velocity after posting the best numbers of his career a year earlier. In 2019, he was 14-10 with a 3.59 ERA and struck out 200 batters for the first time in his career.

A first round pick by Atlanta in 2009, Minor spent five seasons in the Braves’ rotation before a torn labrum in his left shoulder kept him out of the majors for two years.

The Royals signed Minor to a two-year deal following surgery, allowing him to spend 2016 rehabbing before using him successfully as a reliever in 2017.

"Of course we have a history with Mikey," Moore said. "A history and a relationship we felt was important. We have a special history with Mike, and he has great trust in our medical people, our coaching staff."

Minor signed a $28 million, three-year deal with Texas after the 2017 season, returned to the rotation and emerged as one of the American League’s steadiest starters.

Kansas City also agreed to one-year deals with right-handers Jesse Hahn ($1.75 million) and Jakob Junis ($1.7 million) and outfielder Franchy Cordero ($800,000) that avoided arbitration.

Hahn can earn $350,000 in performance bonuses based on games: $50,000 each for 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55.

Cordero can earn $25,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances: $5,000 apiece for 300, 350, 400, 450 and 500.

Right-handed pitcher Carlos Sanabria was designated for assignment, opening a roster spot for Minor.

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