As expected, the Braves have signed free agent starter Dallas Keuchel, David O’Brien of The Athletic reports. Per Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for one year and $13 million.
Keuchel, 31, posted a 3.74 ERA with 153 strikeouts and 58 walks across 204 2/3 innings for the Astros last year. Due to purported concerns about his declining velocity, strikeout rate, and age — as well as the draft pick compensation that had been attached to him — he spent seven months as a free agent, just ahead of reliever Craig Kimbrel who signed with the Cubs on Wednesday.
Keuchel will likely need a couple of weeks getting back into game shape by making some starts in the minors. When he joins the major league rotation, he may displace struggling right-hander Kevin Gausman, slotting in behind Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka, and Max Fried.
Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.
It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.
Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.