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Astros Open Forum: Should the Astros Re-sign Dallas Keuchel? If So, For How Much?

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He’s still out there. What kind of contract should the Astros offer him?

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

Cy Young award winner in 2015. All Star in 2017. Third in the AL in innings pitched in 2018. Two weeks into Spring Training 2019 and still waiting anxiously by the phone waiting for THE CALL.

What’s wrong with Dallas? Crumbs in his beard? Two right feet? Halitosis?

Last year, a down year it’s true, his 3.74 ERA at age 29 was 20th in the AL out of 62 starting pitchers with 100+ innings. His 3.6 fWAR was 11th.

Here are a few of the pitchers who comp with Keuchel. All stats from Fangraphs, 2018.

Dallas Keuchel ERA: 3.74 FIP: 3.69 fWAR: 3.6

Sean Manaea ERA: 3.59 FIP: 4.26 fWAR: 1.8

C.C. Sabathia ERA: 3.65 FIP: 4.16 fWAR: 2.5

Masahira Tanaka ERA: 3.75 FIP: 4.01 fWAR: 2.7

James Paxton ERA: 3.76 FIP: 3.24 fWAR: 3.8

Nathan Eovaldi ERA: 3.77 FIP: 3.64 fWAR: 2.2

The Yankees just surrendered their top pitching prospect and two others for the 29 year old Paxton. The 28 year old Eovaldi just signed a 4 year $17 million per year deal with the Boston Red Sox.

Yet Keuchel sits.

The case against Keuchel

  1. He has the wrong agent.
  2. His career trajectory is going in the wrong direction.
  3. He throws 90 MPH at a time when it seems like 95 is just average.
  4. Junk pitchers don’t usually age well.
  5. He would block one of the next generation of good, young prospects.

The case for Keuchel

  1. If only the fourth best Astro starter last year, he’s still good. As good as all of the above.
  2. You can never have enough pitching. There are already questions about McHugh’s and James’ health.
  3. The Astros lose Verlander, Cole and McHugh next year. Keuchel under contract cushions the loss.

So the question for all TCBers: What kind of contract should the Astros offer Keuchel? Are the Astros spoiled by having had three All Stars ahead of Keuchel in the rotation last year? Or is Keuchel just a legend in his own mind?

What do you think?

Dallas Keuchel ERA: 3.74 FIP: 3.69 fWAR: 3.6

Sean Manaea ERA: 3.59 FIP: 4.26 fWAR: 1.8

Masahiro Tanaka ERA: 3.75 FIP: 4.01 fWAR: 2.7

James Paxton ERA: 3.76 FIP: 3.24 fWAR: 3.8

Nathan Eovaldi ERA: 3.77 FIP: 3.64 fWAR: 2.2

C.C. Sabathia ERA: 3.65 FIP: 4.16 fWAR: 2.5