Left-hander Dallas Keuchel reportedly sought a six- to seven-year contract worth upward of $25MM per annum at the outset of the winter, which may explain why he’s still available a week into the regular season. Now, though, it appears Keuchel’s asking price has dropped significantly, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears (video link). An executive’s “under the impression” the 2015 AL Cy Young winner wants a one-year deal worth more than the $17.9MM qualifying offer he turned down from the Astros or a long-term contract at a lower salary, per Rosenthal. Nevertheless, there aren’t any signs that the 31-year-old is close to finding a team, and as Rosenthal points out, the longer Keuchel sits out, the more money he’ll give up on a prorated pact. Although Keuchel has been throwing 95-pitch sim games every five days as he waits for a contract, he still may not be ready to immediately step into a team’s rotation upon signing.
- Southpaw Andrew Miller looks more like the second coming of Greg Holland than the savior the Cardinals’ bullpen was hoping for this season, Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch observes. Signed to a two-year, $25MM contract over the winter, Miller has given up six runs (four earned) on five hits (three homers) and four walks, with just two strikeouts, in his first 3 1/3 innings as a Cardinal, thereby mimicking the awful performance Holland registered last season after inking a one-year, $14MM deal. While it’s clear Miller has looked nothing like the dominant force he was with the Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees and Indians from 2012-17, it’s obviously far too soon to write him off as a bust. Fortunately, both Miller and Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak insist the 33-year-old is healthy after knee, hamstring and shoulder injuries plagued him in Cleveland last season.
- Right-hander Nate Karns began the season in the Orioles’ rotation, but he’s now shifting to their bullpen on a full-time basis in favor of lefty John Means, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. Means may not be long for the starting five, however, considering the just-signed Dan Straily figures to head to the rotation in short order. A starter in 56 of 66 career appearances, Karns made his first relief appearance of the season Saturday against the Yankees, who collected three hits off him in just a third of an inning. The 31-year-old Karns made two starts before that, though he functioned as an opener in both outings and didn’t go past the two-inning mark in either. After recovering from 2017 thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, the journeyman joined the Orioles in free agency this past winter on an $800K contract.
- It appears reliever Drew Storen is still far away from potentially joining the Royals’ bullpen, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com tweets. Storen, who’s on his way back from 2017 Tommy John surgery, is currently building up arm strength in extended spring training. The 31-year-old signed a minors deal with the Royals in February, meaning he was never guaranteed to crack their bullpen. However, if the horrendous performance Kansas City’s relief corps has turned in thus far is any indication, Storen could get a chance in if he returns to health.