Twins

Is signing Dallas Keuchel still worth it?

Ok, I know it’s a weird question to ask if he’s still worth signing because he’s Dallas Keuchel and the Twins have Martin Pérez but just read this whole thing before commenting hateful things.

Dallas Keuchel is somehow still unsigned two weeks into the regular season. It has very little to do with talent, instead it’s almost completely due to the asking price. For all offseason it was reportedly around 5-6 years for north of $25 million AAV. Well, according to Ken Rosenthal, the asking price has dropped to one year worth anything more than $17.9 million (qualifying offer with the Astros). If this is true, then the Twins should probably be all over trying to sign Dallas Keuchel, right?

Well it is already the middle of April and if we look at the starting pitchers who were signed in April last year, here is what their season looked like:

  • Lance Lynn ERA: 8.37 in April (5 starts), 4.13 rest of season 
  • Alex Cobb ERA: 13.11 in April (3 starts), 4.22 rest of season
  • Jason Vargas ERA: 12.52 in April (5 starts), 4.52 rest of season
  • Jake Arrieta ERA: 3.49 in April (5 starts), 3.96 rest of season.

So it seems that pitchers who get to a new team without a true spring training seem to struggle out of the gate, except Jake Arrieta. That’s not at all surprising and it makes you wonder if signing someone halfway through April is still the best move. Luckily for Keuchel, the first two or three months have typically been his best of the season. With Dallas Keuchel I still think it’s worth it for the Twins just because he’s so much better than having Martin Pérez pitch every fifth day. He would also match up very nicely with the Twins because *whispers* they score a lot of runs and that helps pitchers in case you didn’t know.

He’s an extremely serviceable middle of the order arm and that’s exactly what his 2018 rankings showed:

  • 7th in innings pitched (204.2)
  • 51st in K/9 (6.73)
  • 36th in BB/9 (2.55)
  • 9th in HR/9 (0.79)
  • 46th in BABIP (.300)
  • 1st in GB% (53.7%)
  • 29th in ERA (3.74)
  • 37th in FIP (3.69)
  • 49th in WHIP (1.31)
  • 5th in soft hit % (22.4%), 5th in hard hit % (28.1%)
  • Average ranking: 27.5

So those rankings put him in about the top 25-30 starting pitchers in our game. Sliding him in with Berrios, Gibson, Odorizzi and Pineda would give us a really good looking rotation so why don’t the Twins just go pay for one year of Dallas Keuchel? Well the glaring stat that stands out to me is the fact that he’s 51st in strikeouts while also giving up a .300 AVG on balls put in play. Although that would be cancelled out by the great ground ball rate and the elite soft ball hit percentage. The answer to why he’s still unsigned is hard to know but it seems like it just comes down to money.

I guess what I’ve been saying here is that Keuchel is not really worth $20 to $25 million in my opinion. Just look at the Yankees, they have all the money in the world but still won’t offer to Keuchel with their ace Severino out for a while. Maybe they see something that says he just won’t be the solid pitcher we’ve all seen over the years. If he is worth the money, then Ervin Santana should have been paid that much after 2017 right?

  • Ervin Santana (2015-17): 80 starts, 500.2 IP, 3.47 ERA, 1.196 WHIP, 7.2 K/9
  • Dallas Keuchel (2016-18): 83 starts, 518.1 IP, 3.77 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 7.3 K/9

To me I think it’s time for someone to get Keuchel on a 1-3 year deal because he’s a solid starter who will eat innings for you. I just would be much more comfortable with getting him for $15-$18 million. So the bottom line is that I would love the Twins to get Keuchel because he’s an obvious upgrade, but I understand why teams are wary of signing him. Anyways I just got done watching Odorizzi, Vasquez and Pérez pitch to the Mets so yeah let’s go get Keuchel now

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1 reply »

  1. I don’t think he’s worth the money either. And I’m not sure, but doesn’t signing him involve the loss of a draft pick as well? I’d like to see the Twins sign Kimbrel but not for what he’s asking.

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