MLB

MLB: Which Team is the Best Landing Spot for Pitcher Dallas Keuchel?

Dallas Keuchel is bound to sign with a team for 2019, but which team?

Major League Baseball pitcher Dallas Keuchel won the American League Cy Young award in 2015 but he has since regressed, and as the 2019 regular season begins he remains unsigned. That is likely due to him reportedly seeking a five- or six-year deal worth more than of $100 million, a request that he is seemingly unwilling to back down from. Keuchel will almost certainly sign with a team at some point during the season, but the question is which team? Here are some of the teams that appear to be likely candidates to sign Dallas Keuchel — potentially.

Dallas Keuchel by the numbers

Free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel didn't sign during the 2018-19 offseason
Dallas Keuchel delivers a pitch. | Bob Levey/Getty Images

When you look at Dallas Keuchel and his career numbers, you scratch your head and wonder why he’s still on the market. In addition to the Cy Young Award, which he earned after a 20-8 season in 2015, he has a .547 career winning percentage (76-63), 3.66 ERA, and 3.72 FIP. Plus, he’s a lefty, which is a trait most teams desire.

However, he’s not a strikeout machine (more than 150 in a season only twice), and the two-seam fastball he relies on is one MLB batters have a lot of success hitting.

San Diego Padres

The Padres are in the midst of a rebuild, which they put into full swing this winter by giving Manny Machado $300 million and, to a lesser extent, signing 2B Ian Kinsler. With some good young hitters such as Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe, the Padres offense looks to be getting better. Their rotation, however, is a different story.

Starter Eric Lauer, who went 6-7 with a 4.34 ERA last season, is the Opening Day starter, and the rotation doesn’t get much better after him. The Padres desperately need a veteran ace, and while Dallas Keuchel doesn’t really have ace stuff at this point in his career, he would certainly be the No. 1 with the Padres and could serve as a mentor to the rest of the young staff.

New York Yankees

Yankees ace Luis Severino isn’t expected to make his regular season debut until May as he continues to rehab his rotator cuff surgery, and starter CC Sabathia will miss the beginning of the season while recovering from a knee scope and heart surgery.

That means the Yankees are starting the season with only three proven starters in the form of Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ, who have all battled injuries or mediocre performances in recent years. Keuchel would be a veteran insurance policy for a team that has hopes of potentially making it to the World Series. He has historically pitched well in a limited sample size at Yankee Stadium, where he is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in five starts.

Atlanta Braves

Like the Padres, the Braves have a bigger need in the rotation than they do at the plate. Starter Mike Foltynewicz is expected to miss the first two-to-four weeks of the regular season, and there are question marks among the starting staff after him and Julio Teheran.

Adding Keuchel as the No. 3 or 4 starter would give the Braves a veteran arm who, while he’s past his prime, can still put up good numbers when he is hitting his location, which is the key to his success.

Los Angeles Angels

With two-way player Shohei Ohtani not pitching this season, the Angels are left with a rotation of unproven and often-injured guys, including starters Andrew Heaney, Matt Harvey, and Tyler Skaggs. Adding Keuchel would give the Angels a solid veteran to anchor a rotation that has some question marks in it. But after the Angels just gave Mike Trout a massive $430 million contract extension, they’re probably not looking to spend a lot of money on a 31-year-old free agent pitcher on the downside of his career.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies have one of the better rotations of the five teams on this list, but adding Dallas Keuchel is still a good idea. After ace Aaron Nola, the rest of the starters can’t necessarily be considered reliable, including former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, who is coming off his worst year since 2013. He was 10-11 with a 3.96 ERA in his first season with the team after signing a three-year, $75 million contract last winter.