Rotation, fortified: The White Sox added a solid No. 2, and a southpaw to boot, in Dallas Keuchel. (@KidKeuchy)
Per Jeff Passan and other sources, Dallas Keuchel and the Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement on a three-year, $55.5 million deal with a vesting fourth year option that could take the contract to $74 million.
Keuchel started 19 games with the Braves in 2019, going 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 112 ⅔ innings. Keuchel is a left-handed sinkerballer who gets tons of ground balls, which will serve him well in the homer-friendly G-Spot. DK should immediately step in to the No. 2 slot of the Sox rotation, and is a nice contrast to the rotation’s right-handed power pitchers Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease and Reynaldo López.
What the addition means for the 2020 White Sox
The Sox now have a couple things that they haven’t had on their pitching staff in a long time: depth and flexibility. Keuchel is steady if unspectacular at this point in his career. He’s not the Cy Young winner he was for the Astros in 2015, but he’s still good. He will keep you in games and eat innings for you, and that’s something the Sox sorely need.
Barring injury setbacks to some of the guys coming back from Tommy John, the Sox will have a good amount of depth and flexibility on their pitching staff. Maybe the Sox decide Michael Kopech or López would be best served pitching in the back end of their bullpen in 2020. Considering relief pitching market isn’t strong right now, those are the exact type of internal options a team with aspirations to compete would need. When the inevitable injury bug bites the Sox in 2020, and it will, they have actual major league pitching options to fill in. There shouldn’t be any more time for the Dylan Coveys, Odrisamer Despaignes, Ross Detwilers, or Hector Santiagos of the world.
Keuchel is the fourth big addition the White Sox have made, after Yasmani Grandal, Gio González and Nomar Mazara. If the Sox can add another right-handed bat (think Edwin Encarnacion, Marcell Ozuna, or Nicholas Castellanos), count on continued development from their young players, and add a bullpen piece or two, they can realistically compete for a playoff spot next year.
So sit back, relax, and strap it down: 2020 is going to be a wild ride!