Phillies Rumors: Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel Top Targets After Bryce HarperFebruary 21, 2019
The Philadelphia Phillies have already made a big splash this offseason by acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder Andrew McCutchen, shortstop Jean Segura and relief pitcher David Robertson.
But that may be the tip of the iceberg.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Wednesday that the Phils, who have been heavily rumored to land superstar free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper, could set their sights on two other All-Stars to round out the pitching staff:
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Phillies' total focus right now is on bryce harper. after harper signs (either with them or elsewhere), philly will consider dallas keuchel and/or craig kimbrel. one person thought keuchel's more likely since the pen is solid with robertson is aboard, but it could be either guy.
Dallas Keuchel, who won the 2015 American League Cy Young Award, went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA for the Houston Astros last season.
Craig Kimbrel, who saved 42 games for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox last season, has a lifetime 1.91 ERA.
Per Superbook VP of Risk Management Jeff Sherman, the Phils have an 86.5 over/under win total. Only eight teams had higher marks.
If Philadelphia can pull off this trifecta, then they should be shooting up the odds ledger. It's possible the Phils could even be National League favorites.
Philadelphia already has a deep and promising starting pitching staff, with four of the five starters entering their age-27 season or younger.
That quartet (Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta and Zach Eflin) all had FIP under 4.00 last season. Veteran Jake Arrieta was the exception, but he had a 3.96 ERA and the second-lowest WHIP among starters on the team.
Adding Keuchel to the mix only makes the rotation better. A ground-ball pitcher, the southpaw would fit well in Citizens Bank Park, which has the tendency to be a bandbox, as noted by ESPN's MLB Park Factors list.
Kimbrel would presumably fill the closer spot, moving Robertson to the eighth-inning role. The Phils would then have in essence two relievers perfectly capable of closing, which makes the bullpen much stronger. Robertson amassed 137 saves and a lifetime 2.88 ERA.
Philadelphia opens the 2018 season on March 28 at home versus the Atlanta Braves.