The New York Mets might have another enticing option for their revolving door at the back end of the starting rotation. The Chicago White Sox designated former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel for assignment on Saturday following a third of a season in which he posted a 7.88 ERA, giving up 49 hits, 20 walks and 20 strikeouts while posting a 2.156 WHIP in 32 innings and eight starts.
The move came after Trevor Story and the Boston Red Sox shellacked him for six runs in two innings pitched on Thursday. Story’s three-run homer against Keuchel in the top of the 2nd inning was the final nail in the coffin for him on the South Side in Chicago.
This was the final year of a 3-year, $55.5 million deal he signed with the White Sox before the 2020 season, and any team that signs him will only have to pay the league minimum while the White Sox will pay the rest of his $18 million salary.
So for a team that just said goodbye to Robinson Cano and his $24 million salary (partially funded by another team), should the Mets take a flier on the 2015 American League Cy Young winner?
The Mets need an innings eater right now, and Keuchel can help in that department.
We discussed on Friday the case for Mets’ Triple-A pitching prospect Connor Grey and what he brings to the table as potentially the next call up and as the next Tylor Megill.
However, Keuchel has only pitched into the sixth inning once this season, and just three times in his past 16 regular season starts dating back to August of last season, and the last time he pitched in the seventh inning in a start was on July 9, 2021, which was 21 starts ago.
Now, Keuchel’s agents are going to want a part of the conversation and they will most likely tell teams that Keuchel wants to start and sign nothing but a major league contract.
His analytical numbers are worthy of just the minimum salary, but the Mets might want to look elsewhere.
Keuchel’s results the last two seasons have been forgettable, especially from an analytical perspective. Among 357 qualified pitchers last year, he had the fifth highest expected batting average against at .302, and his 13.2 percent strikeout rate was eighth lowest in that group. He is nowhere near Cy Young form. And in every major analytical category for pitching, he ranked below average. The same thing rings true this year.
So any team that is planning on signing Dallas Keuchel must hope that he returns to his 2020 self, where he went 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 63 innings, and the Mets are a team that are looking for anybody to pitch with the slew of injuries that they have right now. From a financial standpoint, this would make sense for a team like the Mets.
But if the team wants to continue to play well and have a winning culture, the Mets are already saturated with veterans, so it seems like a opportunity that the Mets should pass on and give the young, fresher arms a chance to break through at the major league level.