Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel Signings Could Completely Alter Playoffs

By Ian McCafferty
World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four
World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four / Sean M. Haffey
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

One of the biggest stories of the 2019 MLB offseason was the fact that big-name free agents were not being signed. It somehow took until the end of February for both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper to land with new teams. But even after the two biggest players were signed, the problem has persisted.

We're a third of the way through the 2019 season and Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain without a team. That's a former Cy-Young award winner and a seven-time All-Star closer available for any potential contender to sign. The issue has been that teams are unwilling to give either player as much money as they want and are balking at having to lose a draft pick in the process.

But with the 2019 Draft in just over a week, there's finally light at the end of the tunnel. With the threat of losing a draft pick gone, both players should be garnering interest from contenders. In fact, there's already buzz around them signing with the Braves.

The Braves are currently in second place in the NL East, 2.5 games back of the Phillies. They're trotting out Julio Teheran, Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz as their top three pitchers. While all three have performed well, they could use an ace like Keuchel to bolster the roster. Meanwhile, closer Luke Jackson has blown four saves in 10 chances and would be immediately replaced by Kimbrel.

It would also be a nice return for Kimbrel, who won Rookie of the Year with Atlanta in 2011. He had 186 saves during his time with the Braves and would be a welcome addition to the bullpen. These moves could boost the Braves up past Philadelphia and into first place.

But it's not just the Braves position that Keuchel and Kimbrel could alter. Any team that signs them could see the benefits just outlined for Atlanta.

The Rays, Phillies, Mets, Nationals and Red Sox are all reportedly interested in either Keuchel, Kimbrel or both, so where ever they land will create waves throughout the MLB. Just within the NL East there could be a massive shift of fortunes.

Plenty of teams need aces for their rotations and solid closers to hold down the back of the bullpen. Lucky enough for them there are still two roster-altering players available heading into June.


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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