The Padres are interested in veteran lefty Dallas Keuchel, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic (via Twitter). That said, in a subsequent report, MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell characterizes the level of interest as “pretty low.” (Twitter link.)
The San Diego organization has reportedly been searching for a higher-end starter all winter, but has yet to find a match. Keuchel, who’s closing in on his 31st birthday, is said to be looking for serious coin in free agency. It’s not yet known precisely what kind of average salary Keuchel is seeking — it seems reasonable to guess it’s in the range of $20MM — but he’s reportedly hoping for a five or even six -year term.
The Friars aren’t interested at the current price tag, says Lin. That’s not surprising to hear, as it’s frankly hard to imagine any team going well north of $100MM to land Keuchel. While he was outstanding in 2017 and (especially) 2015, Keuchel struggled in 2016 and was more good than great last year. With drops in his rates of swinging strikes (8.3%) and groundballs (53.7%) in 2018, there’s at least some cause for trepidation.
That being said, Keuchel still looks to be a high-quality rotation piece who’d improve any team. It helps that he nudged back over 200 frames last season, seemingly putting some prior shoulder and neck issues in the rearview mirror.
Still, it’s good for Keuchel to have another participant in his market. The Nats are reportedly involved to some extent, as are the Reds, Phillies, Blue Jays, and perhaps the Braves. While the Pads may not seem to be a likely landing spot at first glance, they did land Eric Hosmer (another Scott Boras client) last winter and have made clear they’re interested in beginning to make tangible progress at the MLB level.