Astros ace Dallas Keuchel signs with Scott Boras

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Dallas Keuchel
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Dallas Keuchel /

Only one more season left for Dallas Keuchel with the Astros, will they be able to re-sign him?

The Astros knew they had something special in Dallas Keuchel when the signed him. After his first two seasons in the big leagues, he didn’t look like it. Despite not having overpowering stuff in college, Keuchel was the Friday night starter for the Razorbacks.

In 2014, the tide turned for Keuchel as he lowered his ERA from 5.15 to 2.93. In 2015, Keuchel won the first ever AL Cy Young Award after winning 20 games with a 2.43 ERA. There was little doubt that he was the Astros ace after the 2015 Wild Card game.

The 2016 season was a wash for him as he was not healthy. It was the only time in his last four seasons that he had an ERA over 2.93. With Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton, and Lance McCullers in the rotation, the Astros are set…for 2018.

Injures a concern?

Keuchel suffered many injuries in 2017, including two stints on the DL with neck injuries. A month after winning the World Series, it was disclosed that Keuchel was wearing a walking boot. While he said it occurred during the WS parade, Jerry Crasnick said he pitched with a mild sprain in the second half.

As hard as it is to think about, the chance of Keuchel in a different uniform is one season away. Keuchel will be a free agent after the 2018 season unless they can work out a long-term deal before that. After becoming one of the faces of the Astros, there should be mutual interest right?

Today, it was reported by Crasnick that Keuchel had switched agencies. Scott Boras will now represent him. As Crasnick noted, Keuchel will be one of the top free agents next offseason. If Keuchel has a good season in 2018, he could be set for a huge payday. Even if he struggles, he has built an excellent resume to get some money.

Extending Keuchel.

Like Jose Altuve after the 2019 season, the Astros need to lock in these two stars. When Keuchel takes the mound in 2019, he will be 31-years-old. While that is not ancient, it could limit how long of a contract he gets. The Astros know what to expect from Keuchel, but other teams may be hesitant to sign long-term.

Keuchel needs to prove that he can stay healthy. Once again, Keuchel showed that he could be a big game pitcher in the playoffs. Just because he signs with Boras doesn’t make him untouchable. Altuve has also switched to Boras. Keuchel will be looking  for one last big payday,

The arbitration process has been kind to Keuchel, as he has made 7.25 million and 9.15 million the past two years. Don’t feel sorry for Keuchel as he is projected to make $12.6 million in 2018 via MLBTR. Keuchel will get his money if the Astros want to retain him.

Next: Astros: The Pending Financial Apocalypse

Keuchel seems open to returning so that they could work on an extension during the arbitration process. Forrest Whitley could be his replacement, but you know other teams will go hard after Keuchel as a free agent. Specifically, the Yankees so they don’t have to face him.

We will discuss this and more on tonight’s Talking Stros, find us on Twitter for the details.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***