The MLB draft has begun and that means the flood gates have opened for free agents Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel to sign with teams without costing them draft pick compensation and international bonus pool money. According to Mark Feinsand, and a few others, Keuchel and the Yankees appear to be a perfect fit.
Now you may wonder why the Yankees are so interested in Keuchel’s services. They have the 8th best starting pitching ERA in baseball, and that’s without Severino, who is expected back some time during the 2nd half. Well, the thing we really don’t know is when that will be, and if that will be. We’re just hanging onto hope at this point. There have not been any recent signs that indicate he is nearing a return. I’m sure they’re just playing it safe since the team is 18 games over .500 and in no immediate need of help, but the question marks are there.
Along with Severino’s mystery, we have James Paxton’s injury history. Big Maple just came back from a three week stint on the I.L. with a knee issue. He’s never pitched over 160 innings in his MLB career so there’s cause for concern for sure there.
Domingo German has been excellent this year, minus his last two starts, and is on his way to pitching in the ASG. The issue here is there is 100% an innings limit of some sort tied to him in 2019. He’s yet to throw over 120 innings in any season of his career, minors or majors. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a skipping starts situation, if he’ll be shutdown entirely, or moved to the bullpen eventually, but he’s not going to be starting every 5th day from here on out. Something will change and the Yankees are preparing for that.
CC Sabathia has been awesome this year, but let’s not forget he’s going to be turning 39 in July. He’s already been on the I.L. with a knee injury where he needed a cortisone shot. We’re due for at least one more of those throughout the season and if that’s all we get we’ll be lucky.
Masahiro Tanaka is fine, but you have to always remember how his UCL is being held by a string. Granted he’s dealt with this for years and we’ve been in the clear, but it’s always a scary thought. He also needs to avoid running the bases so he doesn’t pull both of his hamstrings again.
JA Happ just stinks. He stays relatively healthy but he’s been as inconsistent as one can be this season. Not ideal.
So yeah their rotation is 8th best in the MLB, but after I list all of those concerns does that make you feel comfortable? Nope, not one bit. So that’s where Dallas Keuchel comes into play. He’s not looking for a long term deal at this point. He’s taking a one year $15-$18 million contract. That’s perfectly fine with me. Keuchel would bring a strong veteran presence to this team along with a big game attitude. He’s a re-invented ground ball pitcher which certainly plays in Yankee Stadium. He’s also willing to shave that famous beard of his, which seems to be worrying people. Guys, if you don’t think the guy is willing to shave his beard for $18 million then rethink your brain. The Yankees have been enamored by Keuchel for years now, he wants to pitch here, let’s get this done.
Bring me Dallas Keuchel. Let’s go win a World Series.