Keuchel, 31, joined the Atlanta Braves in June this past season after waiting months to sign a free agent deal due to receiving a qualifying offer which requires draft pick compensation from any team that signs him outside of the team that makes the offer.
The left-hander made 19 starts for the NL East winning Braves in which he had a 3.75 ERA, 4.72 FIP, and 1.367 WHIP with 7.3 K/9 as compared to 3.1 BB/9.
His FIP is a little alarming as it was almost a full run higher than his ERA and given that the White Sox defense was among the worst in baseball, they might not be the perfect fit for someone like Keuchel who isn’t a strikeout pitcher and relies on defense behind him.
That being said, Keuchel has a consistent track record of success and given that his 4.72 FIP was the highest of his career since his rookie season with the Houston Astros, there’s reason to believe that his 2018 FIP of 3.69 is more reflective of what his future holds than last year’s number.
Keuchel would certainly represent a solid addition to the White Sox rotation, although he really can’t be expected to be their top rotation move this offseason.
If they do sign him to be that guy, they would be expecting the type of numbers he put up in 2015 (2.48 ERA) and 2017 (2.90 ERA), which are likely not realistic going forward.
As the team’s second starting pitching addition, though, Keuchel could make a lot of sense for the team as he represents a veteran innings-eater for a young White Sox pitching staff.
On top of it, the southpaw has never pitched with velocity as he has averaged 90 MPH on his fastball for his career (FanGraphs). That means he must truly know how to pitch as it is almost impossible to survive in today’s game as a soft-tosser otherwise.
Another thing to note when it comes to signing a soft-tosser is that age is much less of a concern as high-velocity arms diminish over time while finesse pitchers can sometimes stand the test of time.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors estimates that Keuchel will sign a three-year, $39 million contract this offseason and actually predicted the White Sox would be the ones to sign him.
Dallas Keuchel could be a very strong addition at that price if he’s the second starter the White Sox add this offseason.