Update: Multiple sources, including AtlantaBraves.com, are reporting that it’s done and he will earn $13M on a one-year deal.
Furcal Rule is in effect, but:
Keuchel is coming off a year that would hardly be a disappointment for most pitchers, but the 2015 Cy Young Award winner was not able to match his sub-3 ERA from 3 out of the last 4 years before it. However, he still pitched over 200 innings, something an Atlanta pitcher has not done since both Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran completed the Herculean feat in 2015. In fact, only RA Dickey in 2017 has cleared 190 IP since then. So if the Braves can complete this deal, they’ll be signing pitcher who has been a mostly durable starter the past 5 years, something only Julio Teheran from our current crop of pitchers can boast.
Keuchel also fits in well with our solid infield defense. Keuchel’s 53.7% groundball rate was tops amongst qualified pitchers last year, so you’d have to think that Dallas will look forward to pitching in front of an infield of Donaldson, Dansby, Ozzie, and Freddie. His 3.74 ERA, 3.69 FIP, and 3.3 fWAR would have bested every starter other than Folty from last year. And with our unproven youngsters in the rotation along with Folty and Gausman crapping the bed, who do you really think is a solid bet right now to exceed that production across a full season? Keuchel offers some risk mitigation for a very risky set of arms.
There’s something to be said about a guy that’s willing to go year-to-year at his age. Keuchel and Kimbrel both had the unenviable distinction of having a “3” at the beginning of their age (both of them are 31 years old). They also, of course, had the QO attached to them. But with Keuchel seemingly willing to take a deal less than 3 years (everything as of this writing is reporting that that is the case), you’d have to think that Keuchel has a different view on how much he can help a contender this year and potentially next year. This paragraph has the potential to age very poorly should the deal come out to be longer.
And of course, I could be jumping the shark here, but there seems to be a lot of smoke here, so I’m just going to go ahead and give us our own thread for this fella. If Keuchel signs elsewhere, I will delete this post, and drink myself stupid. In the meantime, I’ll be refreshing Twitter every 2.4 seconds to see something to make my night better.