John Lepore | December 21st, 2019
Dallas Keuchel has signed with the Chicago White Sox for a contract worth 3 years/$54-$56 million according to Ken Rosenthal. The 31-year-old lefty waited last season and wound up signing into the season with the Atlanta Braves. Let’s take a look at what he brings to the South Siders.
Dallas Keuchel was drafted in the seventh round in 2009 out of the University of Arkansas. He was a soft-tossing lefty who did not fare well in his first two seasons. In 2014 something clicked. Keuchel would have a breakout that year with a 2.93 ERA tossing 200 innings even with just 146 strikeouts. He followed that up in 2015 with a Cy Young Award while leading the league in innings (232), wins (20), and WHIP (1.017). After a down season in 2016, he evened out and was a solid pitcher.
Even signing late last season, he made 19 starts with the Braves and pitched to a 3.75 ERA. That may have been a bit lucky considering a 4.72 FIP and a 1.367 WHIP. He also allowed the highest HR rate since his rookie season. He will need to get back to allowing soft contact. His HH% ballooned to 36.8% in 2019 when it was never over 30%. His HR/FB% was also at a career-high at 23.9%.
The White Sox are getting a very good pitcher. Keuchel will need to limit the hard contact and keep the ball in the yard, but he has command and can pitch to both lefties and righties. For ~$18 million a year he should be a solid buy if he eats the innings and pitches to a sub-4.00 ERA. He will be 32 years old on New Year’s Day but has only thrown just over 1,300 innings. The arm is there and the results are still what would be expected from a number three starter.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images