Phillies rumors: Team still in on Dallas Keuchel for short-term deal

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 16: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning during Game 3 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Loren Elliott/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 16: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning during Game 3 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Loren Elliott/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The Phillies are reportedly still interested in making another addition before the regular season as they remain in on Dallas Keuchel.

This offseason was a success and then some for the Phillies. They made several quality additions, highlighted by Jean Segura, David Robertson, and Andrew McCutchen. Then they landed their free agency prize in Bryce Harper. Despite making all these moves and more, they may still make one more before Opening Day.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Wednesday that Philadelphia remains interested in free agent starter Dallas Keuchel to cement their status as a playoff contender. However, Heyman states that their interest in Keuchel is limited to a short-term deal with the prospects on the way to the rotation.

Heyman also said the Astros remain in touch with Keuchel. He reportedly received three different calls when Harper was signed, although Heyman does not say who called Keuchel.

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As I have said before, Keuchel’s trajectory is following Jake Arrieta‘s last year. Arrieta signed on March 12, which is under a week away. Keuchel’s signing has been delayed by his desire for a long-term deal, but like Arrieta, he may have to settle for less as Opening Day rapidly approaches. That is how Philadelphia was able to sign Arrieta, and they could do the same thing this year.

According to Spotrac, Philadelphia has under $17 million available before they reach the luxury tax threshold. Keuchel would likely require a higher salary to take a short-term deal. This would likely push the team into the luxury tax not only this year but perhaps next year as well.

The team may be willing to go into the tax, but obviously staying under it is preferable. They have some moves to make in the coming years (cough, Mike Trout, cough), so keeping flexibility could be in their best interest.

You could make the case that the rotation may not need to add someone like Keuchel. Having a lefty would be nice, but the group of Arrieta, Aaron Nola, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, and Zach Eflin is more than adequate for a team who doesn’t need a top rotation to succeed.

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If the terms for a deal are acceptable for the Phillies, don’t be surprised if they decide to add Keuchel before the season begins in three weeks.