Phillies Are Interested in Lefty Keuchel, But At Shorter Deal
Back in 2015, Dallas Keuchel won the American League Cy Young Award. Now a free agent for the first time, Keuchel is looking to cash in on his past success. The Phillies, meanwhile, are looking for a left-handed starting pitcher. Therefore, it is not much of a surprise that the two could potentially be a match.
According to MLB Network's J.P. Morosi, there is interest from the Phillies. However, length appears to be a sticking point:
Keuchel turns 31 years old next week, meaning a five-year deal would be through his year 34 season.
As Phillies fans are well-aware, age 34 did not bode well for the likes of Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, who had already been past their prime years at our around 34, succumbing to injury as well. Keuchel logged a full season of starts in 2018, but missed time in both 2016 and 2017, making 26 and 23 starts in those seasons, respectively.
Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 earned run average in 2018. Pitching 204 innings and making a league-leading 34 starts, Keuchel had one bad month - June - which make his numbers look a little worse than otherwise. Keuchel struck out 153 batters in those innings, walking a career-high 58.
In terms of left-handed starters on the free agent market, Keuchel is the leader. Drawing interest from several teams, Keuchel could probably get that fifth year. The Phillies must decide if they are willing to take the risk that years four and five could be problematic. The club was willing to go five years for Patrick Corbin, who is 18 months younger, but missed out to the Washington Nationals.
The Phillies have been also linked to Texas Rangers starter Mike Minor in their pursuit of a left-handed starter. The club was also interested in a reunion with starter J.A. Happ, who ultimately ended up with the New York Yankees.