Dallas Keuchel remains a free agent almost a month into the 2019 Major League Baseball season. It’s absurd that one of the league’s most consistent hurlers over the last few years still doesn’t have a job. There has been some movement in his free agency in the past few days.
Here’s a look at the latest Keuchel rumors.
He is open to a one-year deal
Keuchel has been holding out for a long-term deal but that doesn’t appear likely to happen. He turned down a qualifying offer for $17.9 million from the Houston Astros this offseason, and would like to earn more than that if he takes a one-year contract. He would take less than that per season on a multiyear deal but wants more if he’s a rental.
That kind of thinking will likely get him signed since it’s clear he’s not going to get a big-money, multiyear contract.
San Diego Padres are a fit
The San Diego Padres likely make the most sense for Keuchel, despite general manager A.J. Preller’s insistence that he’s not looking to add to his roster right now. The Padres have phenomenal infield defense and a pitcher-friendly park, which would be the right recipe behind an extreme ground ball pitcher like Keuchel.
San Diego’s has an exceptionally young pitching staff and it has gone through some growing pains early. An innings-eater like Keuchel could really help the young guys and give the team’s bullpen some relief.
The Brewers are in touch
The Milwaukee Brewers remain in touch with agent Scott Boras about Keuchel and many believe they could wind up swooping in for him. The Brewers would likely also be willing to give up the draft pick it would take to sign Keuchel in a playoff push.
The Phillies are a fit as well
The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to make a playoff push this year after signing Bryce Harper in the offseason. They already have one former Cy Young Award winner in Jake Arrieta and adding another in Keuchel could round out an already impressive rotation.
Arrieta, Keuchel and Aaron Nola could create a phenomenal three-pitcher postseason rotation, with Zach Eflin or Vince Velasquez mixed in.
This is the point where I remind you just what kind of pitcher Keuchel is. Over his seven-year big league career, he’s posted a 76-63 record with a 3.66 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. In 204.2 innings in 2018, he posted a 3.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP, while also allowing a major league-high 211 hits. But he’s just one season away from going 14-5 with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
At 31, Keuchel can still get it done, though he’s not the same pitcher who dominated in 2015 on his way to winning the American League Cy Young Award. That season he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 232 innings.