Minor's next start pushed to after Deadline

If not traded, veteran southpaw will pitch Wednesday vs. Mariners

July 28th, 2019

OAKLAND -- The Rangers are pushing pitcher ’s next start back from Tuesday to Wednesday against the Mariners in Arlington. That means it will fall after the 3 p.m. CT Wednesday Trade Deadline.

Minor has been a much-discussed pitcher of late and manager Chris Woodward said he doesn’t want him pitching Tuesday with the distraction of the Trade Deadline hanging over him.

“It creates an issue if there is a possibility he could be traded,” Woodward said. “Obviously with Mike, everybody knows he is getting a lot of publicity about being traded. It just makes sense to hold him back. If Mike is still a Texas Ranger, he will pitch on Wednesday.”

Woodward said he doesn’t want to have to pull Minor out of Tuesday’s start if he is getting traded. There is even a chance the Rangers would want to hold him back even if there is only a possibility of being traded.

The talk of Minor being traded has hung over the Rangers since the offseason and has only intensified as the club has fallen out of contention in July. The Braves and the Yankees appear to be the best possibilities but other clubs, including the Phillies, Astros and Brewers, could be looking for starters.

There are other starters who could be available on the market besides Minor. Most notably, Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who could rival Minor for the most sought-after starter at the Deadline. The Mets are a mystery team because of the possibility they could trade either Noah Syndergaard or Zach Wheeler.

“I don’t think anybody who follows baseball is too naïve to know that discussions are going on with a lot of players who will end up not being traded,” Woodward said. “There is a reason why Minor’s name is being thrown out there. You look at other names that are being thrown out there, that’s just the nature of the deadline.”

Minor, a member of this year's American League All-Star team, is 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 21 starts. He is 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his last four starts, but Woodward said that slump shouldn’t impact his trade value.

“People would be foolish to think that would get in the way,” Woodward said. “Maybe it will. Maybe it will keep Minor with the Rangers.”

Minor is not the only possible trade target on the Rangers. Bullpen help is always a highly coveted need at the Deadline, and right-hander Chris Martin is drawing interest. He has a 1.45 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP in his last 19 games while averaging 11.57 strikeouts per nine innings. The Dodgers are a possibility for him.

Martin is in his second year with the Rangers, but the two-year deal he signed after coming back from Japan allows him to be a free agent at the end of this season.

“Getting traded is out of my control,” Martin said. “One of the things I’ve learned in baseball is you can only control what you can control. I’m focused on pitching good and helping the team win until I am told otherwise.”

The Rangers also announced Saturday that outfielder Carlos Tocci has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Nashville. He was designated for assignment on July 21.