With slightly more than two months having passed since the start of the 2019 MLB season, a new report suggests that free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel could finally be signing with a new team. And that might not be all, as the team in question — the New York Yankees — is also expected to make a trade for another top pitcher to beef up their injury-plagued rotation.
On Wednesday, SportsNet New York’s Andy Martino reported that per league sources, there’s a chance that the Yankees will sign Keuchel “next week” as the team tries to bolster its starting rotation ahead of the trade deadline. Starters Luis Severino, C.C. Sabathia, and James Paxton are all dealing with injuries, with Severino expected to be out until mid-July at the earliest, as previously reported by Sports Illustrated. This makes the Yankees’ rotation the “clearest need” at the moment, and, as Martino added, there’s still a good chance the team will target a “high-end” starting pitcher regardless whether they sign Keuchel or not.
“The Yanks are not specifically viewing Keuchel as an alternative to sacrificing trade chips for a Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer or Zack Wheeler, all of whom would likely interest them,” Martino wrote. “Teams are not yet talking in earnest about these trades, and typically wait until after the draft to do so.”
As further noted, the Yankees have reportedly been scouting Keuchel as he has been keeping busy by throwing simulated games. If all goes according to plan, the team hopes to make a move for the free agent pitcher after this year’s amateur draft on Monday in order to avoid giving up a compensatory draft pick for signing him.
Playing for the Houston Astros in the 2018 MLB season, Keuchel had another solid campaign last year, compiling a 12-11 record with a 3.74 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings pitched, per Sporting News. The former American League Cy Young awardee, who had spent his entire MLB career with the Astros prior to entering free agency, is reportedly open to the idea of signing a one-year contract this season.
Aside from the New York Yankees, there have been several other teams that have been linked to Dallas Keuchel in recent days. Citing information from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, MLB.com noted on Thursday that the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Milwaukee Brewers could be “in the mix” for the seven-year veteran after the 2019 MLB Draft.