Current free agent and former Houston Astros lefty starter Dallas Keuchel expressed clear interest in ditching his trademark beard and putting on the pinstripes in a recent interview broadcasted on Fox Business Network.
The 30-year-old mentioned he’d “happily shave this beard off” for “the right opportunity”. That could come with the Yankees, who have a need for a quality lefty starter heading into 2019. The two-time All-Star and reigning Gold Glove winner owns a 3-2 record and 2.45 career ERA in five Yankee Stadium starts. That doesn’t include a career 2.04 ERA mark against the Yankees in the postseason.
“Everyone’s in play right now,” Keuchel said while promoting a company that makes disposable liners for hats and helmets. “The lure of the city would be really cool. I like pitching in Yankee Stadium.”
Coming off a career year in 2017, Keuchel experienced some regression in 2018. His ERA jumped by 84 points from 2.90 to 3.74, but the lefty put up a career-high 34 starts. Unlike last year, the lefty avoided the disabled list after two stints because of various neck issues in 2017.
Looking at the Steamer projections for 2019, I’d have to think the Yankees would love the 190.0 innings of 3.69 ERA that Keuchel is projected for. That would mark a significant drop in innings from 2018, though the projection is skewed because of previous seasons with a smaller workload. Keuchel relies on 5 pitches: Sinker (41.1%), Slider (18.4%), Cutter (15.5%), Changeup (12.8%), Four Seamer (12.2%).
Keuchel is represented by Scott Boras. MLB Trade Rumors ranked Keuchel as their No. 4 free agent this offseason, and predicted he will sign a 4-year, $82 million deal with the Washington Nationals.