MLB Network Insider and Fancred writer Jon Heyman, reported in an article that the Reds are “all over” Free agent Dallas Keuchel. In Keuchel’s 2018 campaign with the Houston Astros, The 2018 Gold Glove winner and two-time All Star posted a 3.74 ERA in 204 innings pitched with a 1.314 WHIP. In 2018 he had a off year by his standards, surrendering a career high 211 hits which yielded a H/9 ratio of 9.3. But here is what makes Keuchel an ideal fit for Cincinnati; he relies on a lot of soft contact. Like most people believe that strikeouts are sexy. But when it comes to Dallas Keuchel, ground balls are sexy. Keuchel has a career Ground rate of 58.8% and it makes him well suited for Great American Ball Park. What about the WAR? If he was placed on the reds roster right now, he would have the highest WAR compared to the rest of the Reds starting staff (3.2). If the reds don’t want to sacrifice top tier prospects via trade, signing Dallas Keuchel should be their number one priority and it would be a instant upgrade to their depleting rotation.
Keuchel features four pitches and they are a 2-seam fastball, cutter, slider and a changeup. Within his major league career, Keuchel has a lot of success utilizing his fastball and slider to get outs. How do I know this? Looking at the weighted pitching values (wFB 26.3/ wSL 22.1). Last year was a exception. Keuchel struggled with his slider (wSL -6.9) while having more success with his cutter (wCT 7.2 in 2018 / wCT 1.3 in 2017). If he does indeed sign with the reds, it will be interesting how he would use his pitches under pitching coach Derek Johnson.
Reds have been linked to other free agents such as left handed pitcher Patrick Corbin and right handed pitcher Matt Harvey. Corbin seems to be inclined to Join an east coast team such has the Philadelphia Phillies or the New York Yankees, which were the two teams that reported interest in the left handed starting Pitcher. Corbin also made visits to the Phillies and is going to visit the Yankees today. The Reds were reported to have interest in trading for Mets right handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard and Yankees right handed pitcher Sonny Gray. Ever since it was reported, it seemed like those talks have died down. It clearly shows that the reds view their top prospects as part of their future and they are willing to spend the money in Free Agency. As winter meetings are around the corner, expect a lot of domino’s to fall within the next couple of weeks. That’s regarding to all Major League Baseball clubs.