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Report: Braves sign Dallas Keuchel to one-year, $13 million deal

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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.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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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.