The Astros have avoided arbitration with left-hander Dallas Keuchel by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $9.15MM, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart (via Twitter). The 2015 Cy Young winner is represented by Frontline Athlete Management.
Keuchel earns a raise over the $7.25MM salary he earned last year — a record for a first-time-eligible pitcher in arbitration — and will be arbitration-eligible once more next winter before hitting the open market following the 2018 season. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected a $9.5MM salary for Keuchel.
The 29-year-old Keuchel wasn’t able to replicate his dominant 2015 effort, but he still took the ball for the Astros 26 times and tallied 168 innings of 4.55 ERA ball to go along with 7.7 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a robust 56.7 percent ground-ball rate in 2016. Health may have been a factor for the downturn in Keuchel’s performance, as he shoulder troubles limited him to just seven starts after the All-Star break. Keuchel didn’t make an appearance after Aug. 27 this past season, though there’s been no word that the effects of that injury will linger into 2017, and Keuchel never required surgery to correct the issue.