Milwaukee Brewers: Is Mike Minor an option for the bullpen?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24: Mike Minor /

The Milwaukee Brewers need to bolster their bullpen if they want to contend in 2018. Could left-hander Mike Minor sign with the Brew Crew?

Mike Minor declined a mutual option with the Royals that the team would have declined any way. There is some chatter around Minor returning to the Royals as a closer or heading to the Mets. Should the Milwaukee Brewers get in on the bidding before Minor signs?

How did Minor do in 2017?

2017 was Mike Minor’s first year working exclusively out of the bullpen. He was awesome in every sense of the word. Minor added almost four MPH of velocity last year. His fastball averaged 94.4 MPH, up from the 90-91 MPH range as a starter. Airing it out for an inning allowed Minor to rediscover himself.

Working out of the bullpen, Minor racked up six wins, six saves, and 17 holds. He posted a 2.55 ERA in 65 outings. He also posted a 10.20 K/9 and limited his BB/9 to only 2.55. Simply put, Minor was awesome out of the bullpen.

What kind of deal is Minor looking for?

He turned down a mutual option worth $10 million for only one year. It’s clear that he wants the security of a multi-year deal. He’ll turn 30 this December, so a three- or four-year deal will only take him to his age-33 or 34 season. A multi-year deal paying him $6 million to $7 million is more than likely for Minor.

Are there any red flags with Minor?

Based off last year? No, but Minor does have an extensive injury history. He also missed almost all of 2015 and 2016 with shoulder injuries. While he ended 2017 healthy, that doesn’t mean that his surgically repaired shoulder could become an issue in year two or three of his next deal. The Milwaukee Brewers need to do their homework on Minor’s delivery before they decided to make an offer.

Next: How real is the Brewers' interest in Lance Lynn?

While Mike Minor would represent a significant upgrade over the Milwaukee Brewers relief corps from 2017, his cost and injury history appear prohibitive. Brewers GM is unlikely to want to commit to the years and dollars that Minor will command. The team isn’t just playing for a Wild Card in 2018. They’re playing for 2018 and beyond. A four-year deal paying Minor over $6 million could hurt the Brewers when it’s time to sign core players to long-term deals as they move towards arbitration. Unless the price changes or commitment changes, Minor is a stay-away for Milwaukee.