The Royals announced they have traded left-hander Mike Minor and cash considerations to the Cincinnati Reds for left-handed reliever Amir Garrett. The 29-year old Garrett pitched five seasons with the Reds with a 5.10 ERA and 10.5 strikeout-per-nine innings.
Garrett is coming off a poor 2021 season with an ERA of 6.04 in 47 2⁄3 innings with 5.5 walks-per-nine innings. But from 2018-2020, he was a solid bullpen arm with a 3.60 ERA with 175 K in 137 1⁄3 innings. Garrett is a two-pitch pitcher, with a heater that sits in the mid-90s, and one of the best sliders in baseball. He has been plagued by a high walk rate and high home run-to-flyball ratio. Garrett is in his second year of arbitration with MLB Trade Rumors projecting a $2.2 million salary for him in 2022. Garrett went to high school in the Las Vegas area and played baseball and basketball at St. John’s, averaging 6.2 points per game in 2011-2013.
Minor posted a 5.05 ERA in 158 2⁄3 innings for the Royals last year after signing a two-year deal. The 34-year old was scheduled to make $10 million in 2022, and the Royals are sending some unspecified cash to the Reds to cover his salary.
Per source, Royals freed up $8.5M, including cash exchange in this trade (Minor also owed $1M buyout on $13M option in 2023). Looking to add right-handed starting pitcher. https://t.co/UD22M9mHsM— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 16, 2022
The Royals needed some bullpen depth, particularly from the left side, and they may be buying low on Garrett in the hopes he can regain his command enough to miss bats. The trade of Minor may be a signal the Royals feel very good about their young starting pitching depth, with a rotation that will likely have Brad Keller and Brady Singer, with other rotation candidates like Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, Carlos Hernández, Kris Bubic, as well as veterans Brad Peacock and Daniel Mengden. The move also frees up some cash to address needs, whether that means adding another starter, more bullpen help, or possibly even an upgrade for the outfield.