With left-hander Dallas Keuchel still unemployed, the big-name free agent’s preparing for the season by “going through a full Spring Training, just like [Kyle] Lohse did,” agent Scott Boras told Jon Morosi of MLB.com earlier this week. Boras was referring to Lohse’s protracted trip to free agency six years ago, which ended March 25, 2013, with a three-year, $33MM agreement to join the Brewers. The majority of MLB followers expected Keuchel, 31, to land a far richer deal than that when the offseason began, but the onetime AL Cy Young winner has instead watched in recent months as most of the majors’ other high-profile free agents have come off the board. Still, the longtime Astro “is receiving offers,” Boras informed Morosi, who writes that the Braves are monitoring Keuchel’s market but are leery of surrendering a draft pick to sign the qualifying offer recipient. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported earlier this week Atlanta would “consider” Keuchel on a short-term deal; regardless of contract length, signing Keuchel would only cost the Braves their third-highest draft pick in 2019.
The latest on a couple other established starters…
- Nathan Eovaldi re-signed with the Red Sox on a four-year, $68MM contract in December, but only after the right-hander drew serious interest from elsewhere. The Angels and Phillies “really wanted” Eovaldi, per Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, though the feeling wasn’t mutual. During the free-agent process, Eovaldi informed his agency, ACES, he only wanted to sign with the Red Sox or his hometown Astros, according to Bradford. But the Astros, despite the questions in their rotation, didn’t pursue the 29-year-old. “Houston is home for me,” Eovaldi told Bradford. “I would have had more talks with the Astros but they just didn’t want any part of it so they were out of the question. While Eovaldi added that he was “a little surprised” the Astros ignored him, he’s happy to be back in Boston after helping the club to a championship in 2018.
- Clayton Kershaw has been the starter for the Dodgers’ last eight Opening Days, but it appears the superstar southpaw’s streak is on the verge of ending. Manager Dave Roberts said Friday (via ESPN.com) it’s “unlikely” Kershaw will take the ball for the Dodgers on March 28 in their season-opening game against the Diamondbacks. Kershaw has been battling shoulder inflammation throughout the spring, which has prevented the three-time NL Cy Young winner from making an appearance in the Cactus League and from throwing offspeed pitches during his rehab. Set to turn 31 on March 19, Kershaw’s entering the first season of a three-year, $93MM contract – a deal that’s off to an inauspicious start.