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Craig Kimbrel, Dallas Keuchel will lose draft pick compensation at midnight


Reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Dallas Keuchel are still unsigned, but their odds of finding a home will rise significantly in just a few hours. At midnight EST, they will no longer have draft pick compensation attached to them, a result of receiving and declining qualifying offers during the offseason.

Despite this, teams already have their next batch of excuses lined up. Per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, some teams are unsure the pitchers will be ready to contribute this month. They are also worried based on the past history of players signing at this point in the season and not performing well.

Kimbrel, 31, finished the regular season last year with 42 saves, a 2.74 ERA, and a 96/31 K/BB ratio in 62 1/3 innings. His stock fell when he struggled early in the playoffs, allowing runs in each of his first four appearances. However, he appeared to figure things out, holding the opposition scoreless in his next four appearances in the postseason.

Keuchel, 31, went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings for the Astros in the regular season last year. The lefty’s strikeout rate tumbled but he is still markedly better than a lot of No. 3 and 4 pitchers in rotations to open the season and currently.

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.