Within this segment, we’ll be breaking down the careers of the top Free Agents on the market. How did they get here? What makes them so enticing to teams? Where could they end up? Let’s find out.
This time around, we have the most decorated starting pitcher on the market. He is a Cy Young Award winner, a three time gold glover, and a World Series Champion. He is Dallas Keuchel.
Dallas Keuchel, a southpaw from Tulsa, Oklahoma, attended the University of Arkansas, and, after finishing his career there, was eventually drafted by the Houston Astros in the 7th round of the 2009 MLB draft.
Keuchel was never expected to amount to anything great. He debuted in 2012, and spent his first few years of the the majors in mediocrity. However, in 2014, Keuchel broke out vigorously, putting up a 2.93 ERA and a total of five complete games throughout the 2014 season. Keuchel followed this display up with an even better 2015, where he hurled his way to a 2.48 ERA in 33 starts and a league leading 232 innings pitched. This success awarded Keuchel with a Cy Young, as well as the title of ‘Ace’ for the Houston Astros franchise. The Ace did stumble in 2016 however, where he was labored with injury, and could only manage to squeeze out a 4.55 ERA and an alarming 86 ERA+. Then, in what was another injury labored season, Keuchel returned to prior form, posting a 2.90 ERA over only 145.2 innings pitched in 2017. This past year looked promising for Keuchel’s health, and, while he managed to throw a full 204.2 innings, his other numbers certainly weren’t eye-popping.
Who are the Suitors?
Dallas is sure to draw a great deal of interest, even through the injury concerns and signs of regression. The reason? When Kid Keuchy is on, he is ON. In fact, there’s almost no stopping him. When he gets into a groove, he really dominates, and it is this quality that puts him so high up on certain teams’ lists.
There are quite a few clubs that should be inquiring for Keuchel’s services, the forefront of those clubs being the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals, and, his former team, the Houston Astros. However, there are also some other teams with outside shots, such as the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies, and even the Cincinnati Reds, who are expected to be big players on the starting pitching market this year. As well as these teams, I would go ahead and add in any of the teams that miss on Corbin, seeing as Keuchel would fill a similar role on any staff.
There are many teams that make sense in the Keuchel sweepstakes, but only one team can walk away the winner. Who will it be?
My Prediction: The Milwaukee Brewers, 4 Years, $70 Million