Multiple MRI exams performed on Minor last year and again this year showed no structural damage. Thus, there is a chance this will be an exploratory surgical procedure. Regardless, the 27-year-old pitcher will miss the remainder of this season and then likely become a free agent.
Because Minor will still be arbitration-eligible at the conclusion of this season, the Braves would have the choice to provide him free agency by not tendering him a contract for the 2016 season.
Minor posted a 4.77 ERA in the 25 starts he made while battling left shoulder discomfort throughout the 2014 season. Still, the success he had earlier in his career provided him with enough influence to gain his current $5.6 million salary by winning his arbitration case in February.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Minor's future, the Braves will not be expected to attempt to keep the left-hander, whom they selected in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
After benefiting from three months of rest this past offseason, Minor eased some concerns as he completed the first week of Spring Training pain-free. But when he felt some stiffness while throwing just his second live batting practice session of the year, he was shut down and sent to Dr. James Andrews, who prescribed stretching exercises.
Minor's shoulder discomfort persisted when he attempted to begin throwing again in early April. Now, a month later, he has reached a point where it seems like surgery stands as his only option for a potential solution.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.