Twins reportedly interested in Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel
Teams are officially able to sign either Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel without forfeiting a draft pick as compensation, and the Minnesota Twins reportedly have interest in both pitchers.
La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins would like to sign both Keuchel and Kimbrel, though they are believed to have more interest in the latter. However, signing Keuchel might also allow the Twins to add depth to their bullpen, as they could explore the idea of moving a starter like Michael Pineda to a relief role. Pineda is coming back from Tommy John surgery and is likely having his workload monitored, anyway.
The Twins currently have the best record in baseball at 40-18 and rank sixth in MLB with a 3.88 ERA, though their bullpen ERA of 4.60 ranks 21st. They clearly see themselves as a contender after finishing with a losing record in 2018, which is why they are looking to improve their pitching staff.
Kimbrel, 31, is one of the best closers in baseball history with 333 saves, but he struggled in the second half of the season and in the playoffs with the Boston Red Sox last year. He was said to be seeking a $100 million contract at one point during the offseason, and his asking price was still reportedly too high for at least one team as of a few weeks ago.
Keuchel, who turned 30 in January, is a former Cy Young Award winner who saw his ERA jump to 3.74 and his WHIP climb to 1.31 last season, which was his highest mark since 2013. There have been concerns that he is losing effectiveness, and teams are now also worried about the long layoff with both him and Kimbrel.