Rangers finish Minor deal, sit down with Otani

The Associated Press

Newly signed Rangers pitcher Mike Minor, right, puts on his jersey before a press conference on Wednesday.

The Associated PressARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers completed a Minor deal Wednesday while waiting for Shohei Otani to decide where he wants to play.

A day after meeting in Los Angeles with the Japanese pitcher and outfielder, Rangers officials were back home in Texas to introduce left-hander Mike Minor after finalizing a $28 million, three-year contract.

General manager Jon Daniels described Minor as a primary target in the team’s offseason pursuit to replenish and bolster its pitching staff.

“He’s somebody that we’ve liked back in his amateur days ... Gets to the big leagues, promising starter, had a hiccup and then dominant last year again,” Daniels said of Minor, a standout reliever for Kansas City last season.

While the Rangers’ interest in Otani has been well-known, Daniels and other team officials didn’t want to talk Wednesday about the pitcher-outfielder or their visit with him.

Otani was put up for bid last week by the Pacific League’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. The 23-year-old has until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 22 to agree to a contract with an MLB team. The Rangers are among seven teams he is considering.

Meanwhile, Minor is the second pitcher the Rangers have signed in a week. He gets a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $8 million next season and $9.5 million each in 2019 and 2020. He has a limited no-trade provision that allows him to list 10 teams each year he can’t be traded to without his consent.

When the offseason began, the Rangers had only left-handers Cole Hamels and Martin Perez signed for their 2018 rotation.

Right-hander Doug Fister last week agreed to a $4 million, one-year deal that could be worth up to $11.5 million over two seasons.

Minor was 6-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 77⅔ innings over 65 relief appearances last season with Kansas City. He previously was a starter for Atlanta before missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons with shoulder issues. The Braves picked him seventh overall in the 2009 amateur draft.

“Our plans are for Mike to start for us,” Daniels said. “He’s done both with success in the big leagues. There is some flexibility that his past provides us.”

M’s, Angels up bonus pool cash

MINNESOTA (AP) — The Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels each have acquired $1 million in international bonus pool money from the Minnesota Twins, aiding their pursuit of Japanese outfielder and pitcher Shohei Otani.

The teams announced the deals Wednesday. Seattle sent minor league catcher David Banuelos to Minnesota, while the Angels traded minor league outfielder Jacob Pearson to the Twins.

Seattle can now offer Otani $2,557,500 and Los Angeles can spend $2,315,000. The Texas Rangers have the most slot money available with $3,535,000.

Seattle, Los Angeles and Texas are among seven teams believed to be in the running for Otani.Speech

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