Dallas Keuchel Could be the Piece that Makes The Yankees Legitimate Contenders

According to multiple reports, the New York Yankees have emerged as the favorites to sign free agent left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel. The former American League Cy Young Award winner has been waiting out for an offer that suits him and now that the Major League Baseball Draft is underway, The Yankees can sign him without having to give up a compensation draft pick. It’s been reported that a one-year, $17.9 million deal could be on the table, which is around the same amount the lefty rejected from the Houston Astros in the off-season when he elected free agency. But at this point with the All-Star break approaching, a one-year deal looks like the best Keuchel is going to receive.

If they do end up signing Keuchel to a one-year deal, he would give their rotation a lot more depth and possibly make them a serious contender this year. Since 2015, Keuchel has gone 35-28 with a 3.77 ERA. He hasn’t been as dominant since his Cy Young season in 2015, but he’s still been a very effective starter. The Yankees rotation this year has dealt with its injuries, most notably their ace Luis Severino going on the shelf before the season started with lat and shoulder problems. On a positive note though, he could be back before the All-Star break. Their rotation has been quite impressive this year even with others like James Paxton and C.C. Sabathia both spending time on the injured list. The Yanks currently sit at 38-20, atop the American League East. Domingo German leads the team with nine wins, while their entire staff has compiled a 3.74 ERA, fifth-best in the majors.

Let’s take a look at how Dallas Keuchel can help this Yankees team become a possible World Series contender this season once they get all their other weapons back such as Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.

How Keuchel can help The Yankees

If Keuchel did become a Yankee, their current starting rotation of Tanaka, Sabathia, Paxton, German, and Happ would definitely change. German would probably head to the bullpen as more of a long relief type guy, while the struggling J.A. Happ could also move to the pen once Severino comes back if he doesn’t improve his 4.81 ERA.

A potential Dallas Keuchel signing would lift the @Yankees to World Series contender status by strengthening a flawed rotation. @quinnallen23 has more.Click To Tweet

Even though Keuchel hasn’t pitched against big league hitters since last year, his track record proves his worth to any organization. The 31-year old has a 3.66 ERA across six seasons in the majors, all with the Astros. His best year came in 2015, his Cy Young year, where he went 20 and 8 with a spectacular 2.48 ERA. He’s a big-time control guy who relies on natural tail on his high 80’s fastball along with a devastating changeup and breaking ball.

Both Happ and Sabathia are in their mid-30s and health could catch up with them at any given time. Sabathia is already dealing with knee issues so he could go back on the shelf at any point. Bringing in a guy like Keuchel who has experience pitching in the American League would be key for the Yankees. Even though he would be joining the Bronx Bombers almost halfway into the season, Keuchel has pitched over 200 innings in two of the last four years. He’s a workhorse who could eat up some serious innings for skipper Aaron Boone. He is a guy who has great command and keeps his defense on the tip of their toes by pitching to contact.

If you look at how well this Yankees team is playing despite losing their main guys to injuries, it’s extremely impressive. Unlikely names like Clint Frazier and Gio Urshela have stepped up offensively, while Domingo German has pitched well in place of Luis Severino in the rotation. Once New York has Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki, and Luis Severino back, this team is going to be even scarier.

Add Dallas Keuchel into that equation and you have a serious contender this year who could compete for a World Series title.

Signing Keuchel should be an absolute no-brainer for The Yanks as they look to strengthen their rotation with a reliable starter who can put forward a quality start every fifth day. He’s the exact piece they need.

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