Oakland A’s: Mike Minor could be worth bringing back
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s will likely need to be creative in free agency to fill the various gaps on their roster. A deal to bring back Mike Minor could help.
With the postseason in their sites at the trade deadline, the Oakland A’s needed to find an upgrade for their pitching staff. While the bullpen had been solid, there were plenty of question marks in the rotation. Their acquisition of Mike Minor theoretically solved two potential problems – an upgrade in the rotation and another lefty for the bullpen.
As Minor had found success over the previous three years, he was a worthwhile gamble despite his struggles with the Rangers. He did have moments of success with Oakland, such as his complete game shutout, but that was about it.
Overall, the 2020 season was an utter disaster for Minor. Between the A’s and Rangers, he posted a 1-6 record with a 5.65 ERA in his 56.2 innings. However, there were positive signs as well. His 1.235 WHiP was solid, as were his 62 strikeouts with just 20 walks.
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It is entirely reasonable to think that Minor could bounce back with a regular season in 2021. His 4.64 FIP, while not great, was 0.92 runs below his ERA. Minor also held the opposition to a .230/.297/.415 batting line, with a .269 batting average on balls in play. Based on those numbers, he was simply unlucky.
The problem was that when Minor was hit, he was hit hard. Although his 87.5 MPH exit velocity was solid, he had a 10.3% barrel rate (14th percentile) and a 40.4% hard hit rate (28th percentile). That hard hit rate was exactly 10% more than it was in 2019, when he was in the top nine percent of the league.
With his struggles last season, and the dramatic losses in revenue, teams may not be looking to spend much in free agency. Players such as Minor, who had struggled so much in 2020, may not receive the type of contracts that they would be used to. The A’s may not only be able to bring him back, but to get a bargain at the same time.
The Oakland A’s are going to need to find pitching this offseason. A reunion with Mike Minor, depending on his asking price, could make perfect sense.