Braves rumors: The (Possible) Return of Mike Minor

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 17: Starting pitcher Lucas Sims
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 17: Starting pitcher Lucas Sims /
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MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 30: Luke Jackson
MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 30: Luke Jackson /

Braves Rumors: Is there a fit here for Atlanta? The Braves ‘pen is certainly due for a facelift.

As it stands currently, southpaws AJ Minter and Sam Freeman are both projected to open 2018 in the bullpen.  Minter was dominant after an August call-up but has struggled with injuries since his time at Texas A&M.  Even so, the Braves are depending on him for the long-term, so you can pencil him in.  Freeman was a welcome surprise, but his 0.7 fWAR season was far and away the best of his career.  There are no guarantees he will be able to recreate this season’s magic.

Jacob Lindgren, a savvy off-season pick-up in late 2016, is another Braves lefty who could find his way into the team’s 2018 bullpen plans.  His road back, which appears to be progressing nicely, is dependent on his recovery from Tommy John Surgery.

This level of uncertainty could cause the new Braves front office to take a long look at Minor, who turns 30 next month.

As payroll increases for the Braves, an investment in dominant bullpen arm could be a necessity.  Minor would further bolster the left-handed presence in the pen and provide valuable insurance.

In theory, a few roadblocks could exist.  There could have been some bad will engendered by Minor during an arbitration hearing in 2015.  His case was the first time the Braves had gone to trial with any player since 2001.  Additionally, Minor could have a bad taste in his mouth from being non-tendered by the Braves in 2015, even with his injury.