One more quality arm is off the market, as lefty Dallas Keuchel has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Braves. Keuchel’s contract is reportedly a one-year deal with the exact dollar amount not yet known. David O’Brien first had the news.
#Braves have agreed to terms with left-hander Dallas Keuchel, sources tell The Athletic.
Likely a one-year deal, but working to confirm that.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) June 7, 2019
Dallas Keuchel, Atlanta Braves Agree to Deal
It is an interesting deal considering the contracts Patrick Corbin ($140 million/6-years) and Nathan Eovaldi ($67.5 million/4-years) received earlier in the off-season compared with their overall production from 2014 – 2018:
After two injury-affected seasons, Keuchel enjoyed a healthy 2018, tossing 200+ innings for the first time since 2015. His overall production (12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.31 WHIP) was solid, yet unspectacular, though he has shown higher potential in past years as a quasi-ace for the Houston Astros. Since 2014, Keuchel has thrived against hitters despite pedestrian strikeout rates (7.45 K/9 from 2014 – 2018), dominating lineups through a very different approach than we typically see in today’s game: keeping the ball on the ground.
Over the last five seasons, Keuchel holds a 60% GB%, good for third-highest in MLB for that period. He has also generated the highest amount of soft contact (23.3% Soft%) and the lowest amount of hard contact (24.6% Hard%) in that period. Despite these accomplishments, demand for Keuchel’s services lagged behind other arms whom, while less accomplished, mesmerized teams with their strong peripherals and radar-gun readings.
Uber-agent Scott Boras has criticized teams’ free off-season approaches regarding the use of analytics, calling the information”…helpful, but not determinative…”, citing Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta‘s contracts as examples that analytic-only approaches can miss the mark. While not your typical ace, Keuchel (30) will provide value to the _______’s as a solid second starter in their rotation. His extensive postseason experience (3.31 ERA in 51.2 IP) will help the rotation’s younger members acclimate to playoff baseball, as will his championship pedigree.
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