Mike Minor's time with the Reds is officially over after mutual-option is declined

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Minor (31) delivers a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Minor (31) delivers a pitch. / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Reds fans, you can now officially breathe a sigh of relief. The Cincinnati Reds declined Mike Minor's $12M mutual-option for the 2023, making the left-handed starter a free agent. In order to do so, the Reds had to pony up $1M for Minor's buyout; $500K of which was paid by the Kansas City Royals.

In one of the most bizarre transactions last spring, the Reds traded reliever Amir Garrett to the Royals in exchange for Minor after having just waived left-handed starter Wade Miley only months earlier.

The Reds took on Minor's $10M salary for the 2022 season after making a point to align the payroll to their resources with the trades of Jesse Winker, Eugeino Suarez, and Sonny Gray.

Mike Minor and the Reds have officially parted ways.

After trading away Sonny Gray and waiving Wade Miley, the Cincinnati Reds planned to go all-in with their young trio of Graham Ashcraft, Hunter Greene, and Nick Lodolo. However, in doing so the club would need a veteran to eat innings. That pitcher was Mike Minor.

The 2022 season was disastrous for Minor. The 34-year-old began the year on the 60-day IL with shoulder discomfort and did not even debut until June 3rd. Minor went 4-12 with a 6.06 ERA and ended the season on the injured list.

According to FanGraphs, Minor posted career-lows in strikeouts per nine innings, strikeout-ratet, ground ball percentage, and fWAR. Minor also had career-highs in walk-rate, home runs per nine innings, ERA, and FIP.

Had Mike Minor not been carrying a $10M salary, it's likely the Cincinnati Reds would have released the southpaw sometime during the 2022 season. But, now that the offseason has arrived, the Reds can finally part ways with Minor. The left-hander will be a free agent this winter, but if Minor plans to pitch in 2023, he'll have to sign a minor league deal.

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