Red Sox Interested in Free Agent Mike Minor

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24: Mike Minor /

The Boston Red Sox had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season. With the loss of Addison Reed, could Mike Minor be a key signing?

The Boston Red Sox are on a streak of two straight seasons of being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The ever elusive ALDS series victory has been out of their grasp since the 2013 season.

While the central ideology to get over this playoff hurdle would be to sign a big-name power bat, the team could look to upgrade in other areas such as the bullpen.

The Red Sox’ bullpen was exceptional last year. Posting a 3.53 FIP good enough for the third-best mark in baseball, trailing only the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.

Led by All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, the bullpen featured compliments to him such as hard-throwing Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes.

The intriguing part about last year’s bullpen is their left on base percentage. Almost 80% of runners were stranded once the bullpen took control of the games, good enough for the highest mark in the game.

ESPN’s Buster Onley reported yesterday whom was in the best position to sign the Vanderbilt alum.

Would Mike Minor be the best addition to the bullpen?

Minor’s skill set would bode valuable to any team in need of bullpen help. The former number seven overall pick pitched to the tune of a 2.55 ERA for Kansas City last season.

After losing Robby Ross Jr. to free agency, the Red Sox could use another left-hander in the bullpen to take pressure off of fellow lefty Brian Johnson.

Minor, who missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons after recovering from shoulder surgery, also posted the highest ground ball percentage of his career last season inducing a 42.4% ground ball rate.

His 88 strikeouts and 22 walks in 77 2/3 innings pitched last season are also career bests.

Would he break the bank?

Minor will likely demand a contract similar to that of former teammate Joakim Soria, who signed with Kansas City for 3 years and $25 million in 2015. Or to save a couple million Minor could sign a deal somewhere in the range of Washington Nationals reliever Ryan Madson for 3 years and $22 million.

Signing Minor would by no means disrupt the fiscal strength of the Red Sox. But, the organization will try to do what they can to stay under the $197 million luxury tax threshold.

Another option the team needs to consider is their players who are arbitration eligible and are looking for pay raises. Signing Minor, a big bat, and accommodating the demands of the arbitrary process, Boston looks like they’re headed well over the threshold.

The second straight division title and ALDS appearance can be attributed partly to a strong bullpen. That bullpen must remain intact in order to get back to the playoffs.

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In order to advance beyond the ALDS for the first time in five seasons, Boston must upgrade that bullpen as well. With full seasons of Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg ahead, Red Sox fans have reason to be excited about the 2018 bullpen. The addition of Minor would help ensure an already stabilized and established relief core.