Free-Agent Pitcher Dallas Keuchel Likely to Sign With MLB Team in June

By Paul Shapiro
Baltimore Orioles v Houston Astros
Baltimore Orioles v Houston Astros / Scott Halleran

Cover Photo: Getty Images

One of the best pitchers in baseball hasn't pitched during the 2019 MLB season, and it has nothing to do with an injury.

Free-agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel remains on the market, despite many teams looking like they could use a starter of his caliber. And there's one big reason why – a compensatory draft pick.

It may not seem like a big deal, but those picks are worth a lot more than money to many MLB teams.

The free-agent compensation rules exist to help small-market teams become slightly more competitive. But looking at the standings, the league's first-place Tampa Bay Rays (22-12) and second-place Minnesota Twins (21-12) seem to be doing just fine. It's seemingly more for the teams that rely on their farm system to remain competitive or simply the ones that continue to cry poverty, who won't reach to sign a free agent like Keuchel.

While lots of teams are actively monitoring the left-hander and others are lying in the weeds, don't expect anything to happen until after the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, which takes place from Monday, June 3 to Wednesday, June 5.

As long as the draft is complete, teams will no longer have to surrender a draft pick in exchange for Keuchel's services.

So, in all likelihood, Keuchel can and should be on a Major League roster on June 6 – and a good one for that matter. Look for the lefty to be an early-June addition to a team likely to compete for a World Series title in 2019.

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