The race to sign free agent starter Dallas Keuchel is reportedly down to four teams. The Milwaukee Brewers are in the mix, but are they viewed as the favorite?
The field for Dallas Keuchel is starting to narrow, and the Milwaukee Brewers are rumored as a possible destination. Will GM David Stearns finally land the ace that’s eluded him, or will the Brewers get outbid?
Who’s ‘in’ on Keuchel?
The most recent report has the field down to four teams. The Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, and Philadelphia Phillies are the four teams rumored to still be ‘in’ on Keuchel. The San Diego Padres were also recently linked to Keuchel.
Do the Brewers have any advantages over the other teams?
Yes. Of the four teams listed, the Milwaukee Brewers are the most likely to contend for a World Series in 2019. The Brewers were only a win away from representing the National League in the World Series in 2018, and there’s no reason to think they won’t contend in 2019 as well. If Keuchel wants to win another ring, the Brewers have a clear advantage over the other teams still in the mix.
What makes Keuchel an ideal fit for the Brewers?
The Milwaukee Brewers need a starter for the top of their rotation, and they need a lefty in their rotation. Keuchel is both. He also has a Cy Young award on his resume, a World Series ring, and several season of 3.0+ WAR.
He made 34 starts in 2018, and worked 204 2/3 innings for the Houston Astros. He managed a 3.74 actual ERA with a 3.84 xFIP. He struck out 153, walked 58, and was tagged for 18 homers. His average velocity in 2018 was actually up slightly over 2016 and 2017.
How about the years and dollars?
Keuchel was projected to earn a four- or five-year deal by most pundits, but he’s reportedly searching for a few more years. Based on the most recent reports, it sounds like he wants a five- or six-year deal. Patrick Corbin signed a six-year deal worth $140 million. Keuchel should sign for less, but it might be closer than originally projected. Five years for $100+ million could be where Keuchel ends up.
Will the Brewers have to surrender a draft pick for Keuchel?
Yes. Since Keuchel rejected a qualifying offer from the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers will have to give up their third draft selection.
It’s unlikely that Keuchel signs a deal before the New Year, but it’s clear that the Milwaukee Brewers are involved. The Brewers are an attractive destination for free agents looking to win, and Keuchel could be the missing piece to a team that makes it out of the NLCS. Stearns has shown a willingness to spend, and the Brewers still have money to work with. These rumors are worth paying attention to as Spring Training inches closer.