White Sox need to add more starting pitching and they can do so with the signing of a free agent after the upcoming draft. They can’t miss this opportunity.
The Chicago White Sox were embarrassed this past offseason. Not only did they acquire two players through trade and a free agent signing to lure another free agent, but they missed badly on even signing that superstar player.
We all know what happened. The White Sox front office failed to sign Manny Machado. This came after they traded for his brother-in-law Yonder Alonso and signed his good friend Jon Jay. As of this writing, Jay has still yet to play a regular season game in a White Sox uniform.
Now, the Sox have another opportunity to sign a highly sought after free agent. This free agent happens to be a veteran starting pitcher and could fill a huge void for the Sox. The name of this free agent is none other than Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel remains unsigned as he rejected a qualifying offer from the Houston Astros last offseason.
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With that rejection, any team that signs him will have to give up a draft pick. Well, that won’t be the case after the upcoming MLB draft which starts on Monday night. The Sox, like many other teams, will likely pursue signing Keuchel after the draft. But the Sox will be at a disadvantage as they currently are without a winning record.
The Sox don’t have a lot of recent success but they can surely tout that their young players are developing at a good pace. This has helped the Sox remain close to a winning record and also close to the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The Sox badly need another starting pitcher and Keuchel could immediately help the team if signed.
That is if the Sox don’t blow their chance at signing Keuchel. Although they won’t be the only team going after him, the Sox front office will have to realize that they might have to overpay to sign him. According to Buster Olney of ESPN, Keuchel is open to a one-year deal at $18 million. Pretty much the same amount he could have had with the Astros if he didn’t reject their qualifying offer.
If this is all it will take to sign him, the Sox should offer him a two-year deal at $36 or even $38 million. There’s no guarantee that the Sox starting rotation won’t be thin next year as Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon both recover from Tommy John surgeries. Offering a multi-year deal to Kuechel could better entice him to sign than what other teams might offer.
The Sox front office must take the extra step to sign Kuechel if they truly want to sustain the success they’ve achieved so far this season. With a young exciting team playing good but not great baseball, Keuchel could be the difference between reaching the postseason and missing it altogether with another losing record in 2019. Will the Sox front office do what it takes to sign him or will they mess up another golden opportunity?