With his entire career with the Houston Astros, Dallas Keuchel has positioned himself as an elite arm. The two-time All-Star not only won the World Series while part of the 2017 squad, but has also three Golden-Gloves and a Cy Young Award. Now on the market, Keuchel stands among his fellow free agent starting pitchers as the leader in Wins Above Replacement (3.6).
Here are five teams that could benefit from his talents in 2019.
The Milwaukee Brewers launched into the spotlight and found their way to the NLCS last season. Not to mention they house the reigning NL MVP in Christian Yelich. But if they want to make that extra push for the big championship fight, recruiting Keuchel can be their ticket in.
Milwaukee’s relievers corps, including Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress, has risen to the occasion last season, especially in playoffs. Keuchel can help launch the Brew Crew’s pitching lineup to unforeseen heights. Plus, with his experience pitching against the LA Dodgers, the Brewers may have what they need for a potential playoff rematch. Milwaukee ought to act quickly because they will not be the only eyeing the former World Series champion for the 2019 campaign.
Like Milwaukee, the A’s were one the pleasant surprises of the 2018 season. They were also in a heated fray with Houston and Seattle for the AL West. Oakland could ultimately land in the Wild Card bout, where they fell to the New York Yankees. Oakland’s pitching staff has started to make a name for itself. Dallas Keuchel can once again play a vital role in a stacked weapons cash of pitchers.
With him, Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen, the A’s can become an imposing force, as well as return to the October circuit. Keuchel could potentially spearhead the defense, while Khris Davis leads the offense. One cannot ignore the possibilities. However, Astros fans, obviously, will be far from content with one of their own playing for a rival franchise.
Philadelphia has made a significant amount of waves in free agency. Several notable players will be calling Citizen’s Bank Park home, including Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura. Last season, the Phillies were rocky in the pitching department, sitting 18th in the majors.
Keuchel could be what Philly needs to jump-start their pitching. With all the moves they’re making the Phillies have positioned themselves as a favorite to win the NL East. But they will have to get past the Atlanta Braves for that. The Bryce Harper decision weighs in as well. Harper signing with Philly or not may be what makes them decide whether or not to pursue Keuchel. Still, the idea of having to deal with Aaron Nola and Dallas Keuchel would be nightmare fuel for any team stuck in a series with Philly.
The Chicago Cubs have become one of the elite pitching corps of the National League, despite not winning the NL Central. With Jon Lester running red hot and a shutdown relieving crew, Chicago ended 2018 on par with the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers (in pitching). This level of dominance can be maintained by adding Keuchel to its ranks.
Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Cole Hamels stand solidly on their own merits. But Keuchel can step up and take over when the occasion calls for it. He can also perpetuate the Cubs’ dominance from the pitcher’s mound. With him, manager Joe Maddon will have a formidable weapon when finding solutions to the game’s biggest batters.
The Diamondbacks, at one point, were locked in a battle for the NL West against the Rockies and the Dodgers. Arizona was also turning into one of the NL’ pitching powerhouses. But not only did they slip behind, but they also missed the playoffs, while the other two merrily hit the diamond in the postseason. Now, they are without their ace, Patrick Corbin, and their household first-baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. Keuchel can reignite the pitching spark that Arizona had last season.
However, they will need more than another pitcher to regain their playoff strides. Hopefully, the Diamondbacks will hunker down and find the personnel they need to remain in the race for 2019. Though not the solution to all of their problems, Keuchel can be the solution to a good portion of them.
Featured image courtesy of The Boston Globe
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