Manny Machado may have signed a lucrative long-term contract with the San Diego Padres last week, and Bryce Harper may have topped that deal on Thursday when he agreed to join the Philadelphia Phillies for 13 years and $330 million. But there are still some talented free agents who have yet to find a new MLB home, and left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel is one of them.
On Thursday afternoon, former MLB general manager Jim Bowden, who now writes for The Athletic, took to Twitter to provide an update on Keuchel and his fellow free agent pitcher Craig Kimbrel. After suggesting that Kimbrel’s agent and the Minnesota Twins have had some talks in recent days, Bowden made almost the same exact comments about Keuchel, saying that the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres are likewise “staying in touch” with the starting pitcher’s agent.
Bowden’s mention of the Padres as a potential favorite to sign Keuchel comes one week after his colleague with The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal, tweeted about how San Diego’s talks with agent Scott Boras had focused more on Keuchel than they did on Harper. According to Sports Illustrated, Rosenthal added that the Padres were, at that time, a “long shot” to sign Keuchel and were keeping their options open by considering other starters.
Aside from the Astros and the Padres, there could be at least one more team in the running for Keuchel, per a report from The New York Post. The outlet wrote that the Atlanta Braves are considering signing him due to injury concerns surrounding starters Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman. Additionally, the Phillies, who have been linked in the past to Keuchel, might also be in play, but The New York Post hinted that their interest could now be “unclear” following the Harper signing.
As noted by The Sporting News, Dallas Keuchel has spent his entire seven-season MLB career with the Astros thus far. Apart from helping Houston win the World Series in 2017, Keuchel played in two All-Star Games and won the American League Cy Young Award in 2015. The lefty enjoyed yet another productive season in 2018, finishing with a 12-11 record and a 3.74 ERA in 34 starts.
Despite the fact that he still remains unsigned, Keuchel doesn’t appear to be too fazed by his current situation. On Monday, he spoke to Houston station FOX26 and, as quoted in an earlier report from The Sporting News, he stressed that he is mainly focusing on preparing himself for the 2019 MLB season.
“I’m calm and collected outside the field,” Keuchel remarked. “I don’t really hit the panic button at all. I’m worried about getting myself ready and up to speed. I feel like I’m ahead of schedule compared to the last few years.”