MLB Rumors: Mets Contact Craig Kimbrel, Dallas Keuchel; NY Doing Due DiligenceMarch 31, 2019
Southpaw starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel and right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel remain the two biggest names on the free-agent market after a frigid MLB hot-stove season.
Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic provided updates on their potential landing spots and mentioned the New York Mets in particular, noting "the Mets continue to call on both Keuchel and Kimbrel as a matter of due diligence."
Keuchel, the 2015 American League Cy Young winner, went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA for the Houston Astros last season. Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star, saved 42 regular-season games for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Both would be strong additions to most pitching staffs, but as Rosenthal and Lin noted, the Mets may not have a significant need for either player.
"For the Mets, the addition of Keuchel or Kimbrel would be a luxury, and one that likely would require creativity in order to fit into their budget. The team currently is set with five starting pitchers, and Jeurys Familia and Edwin Díaz at the back of its bullpen. But contenders are forever in search of quality pitching depth. And the Mets, currently carrying 12 pitchers, easily could expand to 13."
Anthony DiComo of MLB.com also threw some cold water on the idea of the Mets adding either pitcher:
Anthony DiComo @AnthonyDiComo
A Mets source downplayed the Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel talk, cautioning that many teams are keeping regular tabs on those two. The Mets' interest does not appear to be hot or even warm at this point, though they'll keep checking in for as long as those two remain unsigned.
Teams in a more desperate position to add pitching could break the bank, so the Mets may not be the most prominent suitor.
In addition, other clubs are inquiring about both pitchers.
Per The Athletic duo, the San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays have all spoken with the Keuchel camp. However, nothing is reportedly imminent between any of those teams and the ex-Astro. The report stated the Padres are in continued "dialogue" with Keuchel's camp.
For his part, the left-hander is staying active, per agent Scott Boras, who also told Jon Morosi of MLB Network that he's "in discussion with a number of clubs" about his client.
As far as Kimbrel goes, Rosenthal and Lin wrote that the Brewers seem more interested in the closer, who could help replace Milwaukee reliever Corey Knebel. The Brewers right-hander is out for the year recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The two also noted that the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves "have a greater need for Kimbrel" following rough starts for their respective bullpens.