The Philadelphia Phillies made a few bold moves this offseason with the additions of Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana. While each player will be expected to add to the Phillies’ rebuild, the team is already looking toward the 2019 season. According to Tim Boyle of Call To The Pen, the Phillies should go after Dallas Keuchel in 2019.
Boyle points out that after the Houston Astros signed Jose Altuve to his new deal, the Astros may not have enough to re-sign Keuchel next season. If that’s the case, the Phillies adding Keuchel to a rotation that already includes Arrieta and Aaron Nola would give the Phillies three good arms for 2019. But, Boyle doesn’t stop there. He also says that if plans were to fall through on any Keuchel deal, there’s still a possibility the Phillies could go after Lance Lynn of the Minnesota Twins or Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals.
In 2017, Kuechel finished the season 14-5 with 125 strikeouts in 145.2 innings pitched with an ERA of 2.90 in 23 starts. With Kuechel being a lefty, this would bode well for the Phillies who are short on that order. What the Phillies must concern themselves with in regards to Keuchel is that he’s only started 30+ games once during his career. Even still, if his 2017 bounce-back season is any sign that he has regained his form, then teams, not only the Phillies, will come calling with a blank check. But with Arrieta in place, this will give the Phillies an upper-hand on most.
With the NL East possibly up for grabs in 2019, depending on the situation in Washington with Bryce Harper, the Phillies could really make a run. The Atlanta Braves are going through a rebuild of their own and don’t expect to make any real threats. The Miami Marlins just sold off their entire roster, and the New York Mets are lost in the shuffle. That leaves the Phillies and the Nationals. With the Nationals set to field pretty much the same 97-win team from 2017, the rest of the division is playing catch up. But for how long?
The Phillies made great strides this offseason with Arrieta and Santana, but it will be the offseason of 2018 offseason they could make them contenders again.