Braves face tender deadline with Minor, others
Club expected to allow left-hander to become free agent, offer contracts to four
ATLANTA -- The Braves certainly do not want to spend a second straight year lamenting a hefty gamble placed on Mike Minor's left shoulder. But that does not mean they have completely ruled out the possibility that Minor could remain in Atlanta for at least one more season.
While there might be some uncertainty surrounding Minor's future, it's seemingly certain he will be non-tendered before the Braves are required to offer a contract to each of their arbitration-eligible candidates before Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The Braves are expected to tender a contract to each of their other four arbitration-eligible players -- Shelby Miller, Chris Withrow, Pedro Ciriaco and Arodys Vizcaino. Miller will likely gain a contract worth approximately $5 million as he experiences the arbitration process for the first time. The other three players will likely get salaries that are valued at $1 million or slightly below.
If the Braves were to tender a contract to Minor, they would be required to pay him at least 80 percent of the $5.6 million salary he was awarded when he won his arbitration case in February. So instead of making this $4.48 million guarantee, they will likely allow the 27-year-old southpaw to become a free agent.
Minor has not been able to throw off a mound on a regular basis since undergoing surgery in May to repair a slightly torn labrum. He was shut down in early November to allow him to regain some flexibility in his left shoulder.
Whatever transpires over the next few weeks, Minor will likely end up with a one-year, incentive-laden deal or a two-year deal that provides what would essentially be a rehab salary for the 2016 season.
Minor battled shoulder discomfort as he compiled a 4.77 ERA during a frustrating 2014 season. Still, the success he had in 2013 put him in position to win the arbitration case, which was staged just two weeks before he experienced the shoulder discomfort that led to the season-ending surgery that was performed two months later.
Minor has been a member of the Braves' organization since being selected with the No. 7 pick in the 2009 Draft. After enduring some growing pains, he started to live up to expectations midway through the 2012 season.
Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw were the only qualified left-handed starting pitchers to post a better ERA than Minor (2.90) from July 1, 2012, through the end of the 2013 season.