I've been surprised by the general sentiment I've read in regards to Dallas Keuchel from Astros fans. I do understand some frustration with his commentary to the media and do believe he overplayed his hand during this past contract negotiations.
But, the Astros could use reinforcements in their starting rotation after the struggles from McHugh and more recently Corbin. There are many people speculating as to potential trade targets ranging from MadBum to Scherzer.
Obviously pursuing a cost controlled starter would be ideal as we potentially lose Cole after this season and we're getting close to the luxury tax "cap".
So Keuchel, who is rumored to be comfortable with a 1 year pro-rated version of the Qualified Offer ($17.9 Mill - which equates to roughly $11.5 mil for the remainder of this season).
Despite his down year last year, Keuchel was still an excellent pitcher, still tallying 3.3 WAR across his 204 inning season. That WAR total was the 21st highest of all pitchers last year, not bad for a #3.
But diving in a little deeper, Keuchel has been a significantly better pitcher in the first half of the season, with his 1st half coming in at 0.70 ERA better for his career. Now this could be statistical noise or it could be an indication that his results generally degrade as his body racks up the innings.
Admittedly, this is pure speculation. But if it was true, signing Keuchel for only the second half of the season could actually result in him having results closer to his first half and producing as a low 3 ERA type pitcher.
On the other side, many people have been advocating for Madison Bumgarner based on his post season success. I'm generally less of a believer in those types of statistics, but an argument can be made for Keuchel in this regard as well. He's been there and has more than held his own going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA across his 50+ innings. (Not far off Verlander's 3.19).
The Astros have quietly remained interested from what the reports have said, offering him a lesser amount at the start of the season. Maybe now, with the draft pick no longer attached and seemingly no one busting down his door to overpay he would rethink his stance.
I will admit, I have a soft spot for Keuchel, he guided us through some rough years and emerged as an unexpected ace of the team. He personally called Justin Verlander to help convince him to accept the trade. He was instrumental in not only getting us to, but helping us win our first World Series. I simply don't understand the hate that seemingly a large percentage of fans have for him.
The odds of us signing him are somewhat low, but I'd welcome him with open arms. If he decides to sign elsewhere, I'll always wish him the best unless he's starting against us.
Fear the Beard.
Would you want to Astros to re-sign Keuchel?
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