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Elephant Rumblings: Royals sign Mike Minor to two-year contract

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MLB news roundup

San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s had 10 of their players reach free agency this winter, with most or all likely to move on to other clubs next season. On Monday, the first of those players officially found a new home elsewhere, as pitcher Mike Minor signed with the Kansas City Royals, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

It’s a two-year contract, adds insider Mark Feinsand, though the salary terms are not yet known.

After an All-Star season in 2019 for the Texas Rangers, Minor struggled in 2020 and was traded to the A’s at the deadline for a pair of solid prospects. Navigating around reduced velocity, the lefty posted an ERA over 5 for both teams. He pitched in five games for Oakland down the stretch and was effective in two of them, both against the low-scoring Mariners.

Minor, OAK: 5.48 ERA, 21⅓ ip, 27 Ks, 7 BB, 4 HR, 4.22 FIP, .278 xwOBA

He also appeared three times in the ALDS against the Astros, tossing 3⅔ scoreless innings but letting through an inherited runner.

Retaining Minor was not high on the offseason wish list for most of Athletics Nation, but there was some light advocacy for trying him out again on a cheap one-year deal. There is certainly bargain potential to be found if you believe he can bounce back even partway toward his top-of-the-rotation 2019 form, and at age 33 next year there’s still time for hope. Kansas City is going a step further and betting two guaranteed years on him.

Over at Royals Review, the analysis includes cautious optimism but also realism that Minor has a lot to prove in 2021.

As long as we’re talking about the Royals, they made another signing Monday, picking up outfielder Michael Taylor (not that one, the other one) (the one who played for the Nationals for nearly a decade) (Michael A. Taylor). It’s a one-year deal for $1.75 million plus incentives, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Taylor is a defensive-minded CF with speed and a bit of power but a critically low OBP, and here’s Royals Review with more details.

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A couple notable names in this piece of news

Craig Breslow, former A’s reliever, now Cubs assistant GM

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FTG but this is still funny