The Phillies are reportedly interested in former Astro Dallas Keuchel but they are unwilling to offer him the five-year contract he is looking for.
After deciding not to offer Patrick Corbin or J.A. Happ the term they wanted, the Phillies failed to acquire either left-handed starter. The team remains in the market for one, but as of now, no deal appears close. Apparently, the reason Philadelphia has not signed a left-handed starter remains an unwillingness to commit more years than they are comfortable.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported Friday that the Phils have indeed been pursuing Dallas Keuchel, who is the top starter remaining on the market. However, negotiations have hit a standstill as the team is unwilling to offer Keuchel the five-year deal that he is pursuing.
Philadelphia has not been the only team hesitant to give Keuchel that long of a term. Before signing Corbin, the Nationals reportedly did not want to offer Keuchel a five-year deal. The Reds also feel the same way, especially with the additions of Alex Wood and Tanner Roark earlier this offseason.
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Keuchel’s situation is playing out very similarly to Jake Arrieta‘s last offseason. Arrieta had a high asking price coming into the offseason but eventually became a Phillie with a three-year, $75 million contract. Keuchel, who is a year younger than Arrieta was this time last year, won the Cy Young in 2015 but has not been quite as good since.
MLB Trade Rumors predicted Keuchel will get a four-year, $82 million contract this offseason. Given everything that has developed so far, this kind of deal is looking more and more likely. While five years may be too long for Keuchel, the Phillies may be more willing to look at a four-year deal for him.
A four-year deal for Keuchel would end after his age-34 season, which is exactly when Arrieta’s will end if no options are triggered. Keuchel who is the kind of pitcher who can still be effective into his 30s, so four years may be a decent amount of term.