If Dallas Keuchel wants to pitch for the Yankees, he may have to settle for a contract for just the remainder of the season.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If Dallas Keuchel wants to pitch for the Yankees, he may have to settle for a contract for just the remainder of the season.
That seems to be the sticking point right now between the sides, the New York Post reported Thursday.
Despite being labeled as the reported favorites to land Keuchel, the Yankees seem content to only offer a pro-rated one-year, $17.9 million deal, the on-paper dollars matching the qualifying offer the veteran left-hander turned down from the Houston Astros during the offseason. In actual dollars, Keuchel would receive roughly $11.5 million for the rest of the season if he signed Thursday.
Of course, with every day that passes, that compensation would go down. Though his agent, Scott Boras, has said Keuchel would be ready to pitch approximately a week after signing a contract — he has pitched several simulated games — the team the 31-year-old southpaw ultimately joins would likely still require him to go on some kind of conditioning program, further delaying when he would actually take the ball in a real game.
The newspaper also reported that Keuchel has other suitors and multi-year offers, though it did not specify which teams. MLB.com reported earlier this week that the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals have interest in the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner. It is also widely assumed the Philadephia Phillies are at least on the periphery of the conversation.
Keuchel has hinted that he would like to pitch for the Yankees, even going so far as to tell Fox Business back in November that he would shave his trademark beard to join them. The Bombers have had a strict policy about facial hair ever since George Steinbrenner bought the team back in 1973.
In addition, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier this week that his sources have told him that Keuchel very much wants to wear the pinstripes.
Still, money and years talk.
The one thing that is undeniable is the AL East-leading Yankees (38-22) need to solidify their starting rotation if they plan on getting to and winning the World Series this season.
Presumed ace Luis Severino hasn’t thrown a pitch yet in the regular season due to a right rotator cuff injury and a Grade 2 left lat strain. He’s not expected back until after the All-Star break in mid-July. Veteran left-handers James Paxton and CC Sabathia have each spent time on the injured list due to knee problems and will likely pitch with some level of discomfort for the rest of the season, manager Aaron Boone has said.
Youngster Domingo German has been a tremendous fill-in for Severino, going 9-1 with with a 3.66 ERA in 12 appearances, including 11 starts, but has never thrown more than 85 2/3 innings in a season. The 26-year-old right-hander hasn’t been great over his last two starts, pitching a combined 8 2/3 innings while allowing 10 earned runs and 15 hits, including five home runs.
Veteran J.A. Happ has won his last four decisions, but his ERA is still hovering near 5.00. Masahiro Tanaka’s 3.42 ERA seems to suggest he should be better than 3-5, but he has struggled with command of his split-fingered fastball all season.
So, yes, the Yankees need Keuchel. We’ll soon see how much.