SocraticGadfly: Dallas Keuchel to the STLCards: Because you never have enough pitching

January 24, 2019

Dallas Keuchel to the STLCards:
Because you never have enough pitching

The St. Louis Cardinals don't need to overpay for one of the top two position player free agents, one of whom is massively overrated anyway.

That said, they COULD still stand to upgrade the rotation.

I previously suggested trading for either Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber, assuming that Jose Martinez and Jedd Gyorko from the big-league club would be parts of that. (Kluber, not being a jackwagon, is preferred.)

Option 2?

A medium-sized dip into free agency with Dallas Keuchel. (I have now updated my thoughts with this post.)

I'm thinking 3/$50M base with innings and awards incentives for each year and a fourth-year option at $15M plus same incentives structure.

I am not sure if that's enough to land him, but it's certainly enough to be a good starting point. And, at the same time, it certainly doesn't feel like an overpay.

That said, he IS a Scott Bore-ass client. And MLB Trade Rumors reported on Feb. 10 that Keuchel was wanting 6-7 years at $250-30M per annum.

Per George H.W. Bush? Not. Gonna. Happen. (MLBTR, in November, predicted 4/$82 for Keuchel. My number, if he hit a reasonable amount of incentives, would be somewhere between $55-$60M for the three guaranteed years plus $17-18M or so for the option, so I'm not far off.)

But why, you may say, would I be interested in Keuchel at a more reasonable price.?


Per the header, you can never have enough pitching.

First, contra the Mike Shildt bullshit, Adam Wainwright not only is not a sort-of No. 1 starter, he's really not a starter period. Michael Wacha is not a No. 1 starter; he's a recurring injury waiting for a new outbreak. Alex Reyes should not be pencilled in for anything until he hurdles his two serious injuries for more than 25-30 innings.

A rotation that starts off with Miles Mikolas, Carlos Martinez and Keuchel has a solid foundation. Mikolas should eat a lot of innings, too, and Keuchel can. (And I wrote this before the Birds shelved Carlos for two weeks at the start of spring training due to shoulder issues — and player-management issues about his offseason prep and more lying behind that.)

Jack Flaherty is your No. 4. Luke Weaver, John Gant and Daniel Poncedeleon fight for the No. 5.

Waino goes in the pen for long relief, spot starts to stretch out the four young'uns early in the season and to mop up. Maybe use Andrew Miller as an occasional "opener" on a lefty-heavy team and have Waino follow. Reyes also spot starts after rounding into shape in Memphis. Reassess the 4-5 spots by or before the All-Star break.

A rotation like that also stabilizes the pen a lot.

Besides, as Derrick Goold notes in his latest baseball roundup on Feb. 6, Wacha is almost certainly gone after this year, and as he also notes, you can never have enough pitching. In addition, Goold expects Waino to do a midyear retirement if he can't cut the mustard at all.

But, we need another starter, IMO. Waino isn't one and what I said on Wacha. The Reds adding Sonny Gray further underscores the value of good pitching arms. I got into a fairly friendly, but somewhat heated, Twitter discussion on this last Friday with a group of Cards fans, in the hipster / bro / lumberjack division of male Millennials, perhaps, who can think of nothing beyond the imperative of signing Bryce Harper. See more on that here.

I know that DeWitt / Mozeliak are making noises that, other than adding relief help of presumably moderate cost, they're done. Rick Hummel pretty much confirms that, while noting that Mo "expects" Reyes to make a serious contribution this year.

Well, they shouldn't be.

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