Dallas Keuchel
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Braves reportedly emerge as favorites for Dallas Keuchel

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UPDATE: While Braves reporters have poured cold water on Keuchel-to-Atlanta talk, a well-connected national reporter is hearing differently. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Braves have emerged as the “frontrunners” to sign him.

They could certainly use him. At the moment they have only three reliable starters in Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Julio Teherán, and Soroka and Fried are likely to need to have their workload eased up on in the second half. Getting a workhorse like Keuchel is probably their greatest need at the moment and bringing him in would be a boon to their chances at catching the Phillies.

Rumors, rumors, rumors, but it’s starting to feel like Keuchel will have a home soon.

2:38 PM: Earlier this week we heard that the Yankees are making a strong push for free agent Dallas Keuchel. Most still expect Keuchel to be in pinstripes soon, but Andy Martino of SNY is reporting that the Yankees are “facing late competition” from the Cardinals.

He also says that the Braves and Twins are in the picture though, but as we’ve noted many times recently, no one who reports on the Braves regularly thinks Atlanta is truly in the running. Which I guess means all of this can and should be taken with a grain of salt, but until Keuchel signs with the Yankees he’s free to sign anyplace else, right?

As we’ve also noted several times recently, Keuchel is no longer tied to draft-pick compensation. The lefty posted a 3.74 ERA and 153/58 K/BB ratio over 204.2 innings last year.

Carlos Martínez underwent ‘small procedure’ on right shoulder

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Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed on Sunday, to KMOX/1120 AM and StlToday.com, that pitcher Carlos Martínez underwent a “small procedure” to address discomfort in his right shoulder and encourage healing as well as a platelet-rich plasma injection.

Martínez, 28, began experiencing shoulder issues in 2018 which impacted his ability to pitch deep into games. Upon his return from the injured list in late August that year, the club moved him into the bullpen. He remained in the bullpen for 2019, making his season debut in May, and had a successful year, racking up 24 saves with a 3.17 ERA and a 53/18 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings.

Martínez wants to start again and the Cardinals have said they will afford him the opportunity. He is expected to be on track to participate in spring training as usual.