Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Braves and Yankees are the favorites to sign left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel.
According to a source, the Yankees and Braves are the favorites to sign Dallas Keuchel. Both teams are believed to be in the same area with their offers at the moment.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 4, 2019
Feinsand later reported, though, that another source believes that the Yankees are the true favorite in the Keuchel sweepstakes.
A second source believes the Yankees are going to land Dallas Keuchel, and that they are emerging as the true favorites for the former Cy Young winner.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 4, 2019
Keuchel has been a free agent since declining the Astros’ qualifying offer at the end of the season. This meant that any team that would sign him before the MLB draft would lose a draft pick and corresponding money. However, now that the draft is underway, those restrictions are lifted, and teams can sign Keuchel (and Craig Kimbrel) without penalty. It has long been anticipated that the market for Keuchel would heat up once the draft started.
The Braves have reportedly been seeking to add another starting pitcher to the rotation in an attempt to keep Mike Soroka and Max Fried fresh for the entire season and, hopefully, postseason. Soroka was shut down in 2018 with a shoulder problem, which he reaggravated in Spring Training this year. Fried has already had Tommy John surgery and has never pitched more than 120 innings in a professional season.