It’s been an interesting offseason for free agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who has attracted interest from nearly every corner of the league since he parted ways with the Astros in November. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Rangers, Angels and Brewers have all recently expressed interest in the lefty, bringing the number of potential suitors up to eight after previous reports linked him to the Padres, Phillies, Reds, Braves and Nationals.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge here, though that’s understandable as a) agent Scott Boras will be driving negotiations from Keuchel’s end, b) the veteran starter is said to be seeking a significant five- to six-year commitment from his next club, and c) whichever team pays for his services in 2019 and beyond will also have to send along a draft pick, as Keuchel rejected the Astros’ one-year, $17.9-million qualifying offer. While there have been subtle hints that the market may be narrowing — the Padres are balking at the lefty’s “prohibitive asking price,” the Nationals aren’t interested in a long-term deal, and the Braves have all but erased him from their radar — there’s also some speculation that those who remain involved in discussions are on the cusp of making a big move.
The 30-year-old is coming off of another strong season in Houston, during which he earned his fourth career Gold Glove after posting a 12-11 record in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9 and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings. There’s no doubt that his consistency and award-winning status would be a boon for any one of the Brewers, Angels and Rangers’ rotations, though it’s worth noting that the Angels may have closed the book on rotation upgrades after acquiring Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill, while the Rangers’ rebuilding status may temporarily exempt them from major signings without a postseason push in their immediate future.