Royals sign Minor to two-year deal

February 19th, 2016

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals continue to stockpile starting-pitching depth, signing former Braves left-hander Mike Minor on Friday to a two-year deal worth $7.25 million.

The Royals made room on the 40-man roster by placing left-hander Jason Vargas -- who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery -- on the 60-day disabled list.

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Minor, who missed all of 2015 after shoulder surgery, will get $2 million guaranteed in 2016 and $4 million guaranteed in '17. The deal includes a $10 million mutual option in '18 with a $1.25 million buyout.

Minor's deal is strikingly similar to another former Brave, Kris Medlen, signed by the Royals prior to last season after he had Tommy John surgery. Medlen, who made $2 million last year, is set to make $5.5 million this year and has a $10 million mutual option for next season.

Minor is expected to start the season in extended Spring Training, just as Medlen did last season.

"To pitch in a Major League game," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said of Minor's timetable, "it would be six weeks to two months [from the start of the regular season]."

Minor, 28, was non-tendered by the Braves in December. He was the seventh overall pick of the 2009 Draft.

"He moved really quickly through the Minor Leagues and had a lot of success early in his career," Moore said. "He's someone we liked out of the Draft out of Vanderbilt and have followed him."

In five seasons with the Braves, Minor had a 38-36 record with a 4.10 ERA in 111 games (110 starts). His best season came in 2013, when he went 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP as the Braves won the National League East.

Minor will join a growing list of rotation candidates that includes Medlen, Chris Young, Danny Duffy, Dillon Gee and Chien-Ming Wang. But Minor's contribution likely will come down the road.

"We'll move him at a pace that will ensure his health," Moore said. "That's why we went with the two-year deal. Usually after a surgery like that, your innings are limited the first year back. Not always, but usually you are better the second year back."