Should the New York Mets take a shot on former Chicago starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel?
On Saturday afternoon, the Chicago White Sox announced that starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel has been designated for assignment. After signing him to a three-year, $55.5 MM contract in the 2019-2020 offseason, the team cut ties with the former Cy Young winner. Keuchel had made eight starts for the south siders in 2022, pitching to a 7.88 ERA over 32 innings of work.
The now 34-year-old Keuchel’s best days came with the Houston Astros. In 2015, the year he won the American League Cy Young, Keuchel made 33 starts and had a 2.48 earned run average. Since then, the southpaw’s career has been up and down.
He followed that season up with a 4.55 ERA before returning to form in 2017 and helping bring the Astro’s first World Series to Houston. After tossing over 200 innings in 2018, Keuchel was a holdout the following winter and did not sign with the Atlanta Braves until midway through the 2019 season. Keuchel was a stabilizer in that Braves rotation, making 19 starts and pitching to a 3.75 ERA, helping Atlanta once again capture the National League East crown.
In his time with the White Sox, Keuchel has been hit or miss. His first season with Chicago was marred by injury making just 11 starts. However, when he did pitch, Keuchel was excellent, sporting a 1.99 ERA over 63.1 innings. But last year, Keuchel struggled to a 5.28 ERA over 162 innings.
With the release of Keuchel, teams will have an opportunity to pick him up at his prorated salary. Should a team choose to do so, they would be on the hook for the remainder of this year’s salary at a price tag of $14.1 MM dollars. Should no team pick up Keuchel off waivers, he will be given an opportunity to sign with any team he chooses. If Keuchel does indeed pass through, the New York Mets should be knocking on his door looking to catch lightning in a bottle.
With the New York Mets in dire need of help in their rotation, the team has tried to patchwork their way through the recent rash of injuries. The Mets have given starts to Trevor Williams, David Peterson, and Thomas Szapucki, all with varying degrees of success.
But after Szapucki’s difficult outing in which he was battered for eight runs in two innings, the Mets find themselves at the end of their starting rotation depth. With Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer still weeks away from returning, the Mets can ill-afford to give games away and be buried like they were on Wednesday. Dallas Keuchel might just give them a fighter’s chance in the meantime.