MLB Rumors: Rays 'Looking At' Dallas Keuchel After Tyler Glasnow Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2019

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles during Game Two of a doubleheader  at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays are "looking at" free-agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman

The Rays have a hole in their starting rotation with Tyler Glasnow out four to six weeks after he suffered a mild right forearm strain.

Glasnow is third in WAR among pitchers (1.8), per FanGraphs. He had a 1.86 ERA and 2.20 FIP through his first eight starts.

Tampa Bay leads the American League East by 0.5 games, so replacing Glasnow with a proven veteran makes sense. The question is whether the urgency to bolster its pitching staff overrides the benefit of waiting to sign Keuchel until after the 2019 MLB draft.

MLB Trade Rumors' Jeff Todd noted the draft-pick compensation attached to both Keuchel and free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel will be nullified starting on the day of the draft (June 3).

The need to add another starter is obvious for Tampa Bay. However, Keuchel will likely need some time before he's ready to make his 2019 debut. He missed all of spring training, and no amount of simulated games can truly replicate the regular-season setting.

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Keuchel's contract demands will be another matter. The left-hander told Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown he's not willing to take a discount in order to sign with a team:

"Why succumb to teams that think you're needy and you’re willing to accept a lesser offer than your market value? It's all relative. If you're at work and you're killing your job, nine to five every day, and you get another offer that's less, why would you accept that offer? 

"This is not a me thing. This is for the greater good of baseball. This is for principle."

Keuchel to the Rays makes sense in theory, but the two sides must clear some hurdles before they finalize any contract.