With MLB Opening Day less than a month away, Dallas Keuchel somehow has not found a job for the 2019 season. That could change now that Bryce Harper is no longer a free agent.
Jim Bowden of CBS Sports reports that the San Diego Padres have been in contact with Keuchel’s agent, and the Houston Astros also maintain interest in bringing the left-hander back.
Next on free agent watch list:
Craig Kimbrel #Twins staying in touch with agent.
It’s March 1st tomorrow.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) February 28, 2019
The Philadelphia Phillies were previously linked to Keuchel, but that is unlikely to happen now that they signed Harper to a $330 million deal. Although, one report claimed they wanted to sign Harper, Keuchel and another top free agent.
In addition to the aforementioned teams, the Atlanta Braves have also emerged as a potential suitor for Keuchel with starting pitchers Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman dealing with injuries.
The ailments Folty and Gausman are dealing with have not concerned the Braves to the point where they are now thinking about Keuchel https://t.co/EtOcGQ0BoC
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) February 28, 2019
Keuchel turned 31 this offseason, and his ERA jumped from 2.90 in 2017 to 3.74 in 2018. He made 34 starts for the Astros last season and threw over 200 innings, but his strikeout numbers were down a bit to 6.7 per nine innings and his 1.31 WHIP was his highest in six years. It’s possible teams view those as signs that he could be losing effectiveness, but Keuchel remains an elite talent who can be virtually unhittable when at his best.