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MLB Rumors: Astros 'Still Have Interest' in Bringing Back Dallas Keuchel

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2019

Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel throws against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 3 of a baseball American League Championship Series on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Houston Astros reportedly "still have interest" in re-signing free-agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel.

According to Fancred's Jon Heyman, part of Houston's interest stems from the fact that it has lost multiples starters since last season.

Charlie Morton signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, while Lance McCullers Jr. is set to miss the entire 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

The 31-year-old Keuchel is among the top free agents remaining along with sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

He is coming off a solid season for the Astros that saw him go 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 204.2 innings pitched.

The veteran left-hander has spent his entire seven-year MLB career in Houston, where he has accomplished no shortage of accolades.

Keuchel is a two-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove award winner.

He also won the American League Cy Young award in 2015 when he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and career-high 216 strikeouts in 232 innings.

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Keuchel was a key part of the Astros' run to a World Series title in 2017 as well, posting a 2.90 ERA during the regular season.

Overall, Keuchel owns a 76-63 career record to go along with a 3.66 ERA.

In addition to his regular-season success, Keuchel has thrived in the playoffs, too, with a 4-2 mark and a 3.31 ERA over 10 appearances, including nine starts.

Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole make for a strong one-two punch atop Houston's starting rotation, but there are question marks outside of them.

Both Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock could return to the rotation after spending 2018 in the bullpen, but doing so would weaken Houston's bullpen significantly.

Also, 25-year-old Josh James could slide into the rotation after making six appearances (three starts) during the 2018 regular season and posting a 2.35 ERA.

Keuchel isn't an overpowering pitcher with dominant stuff, but he is an intelligent and experienced player who would give the Astros another reliable option on the mound should they reach the playoffs for a third consecutive season as expected.