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The Daily Chop: Market for Keuchel taking shape?

The Braves appear to be out on incumbent starter Dallas Keuchel, who played an integral role in their division title in 2019.

Divisional Series - Atlanta Braves v St Louis Cardinals - Game Four Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Agent Scott Boras was toast of the Winter Meetings last week, earning over $800 million in guarantees for three players: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg. On Wednesday, reporters asked Boras about the free agent statuses of three more clients in Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dallas Keuchel, and Nicholas Castellanos. The trio figures to come in well short of the guaranteed dollar figures doled out to Cole, Rendon, and Strasburg, but each should do very well given their performances last season.

Notable for Braves fans is the status of the left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who made two playoff starts for Atlanta following a strong, if stunted, season in 2019. Keuchel was unemployed for much of the season before signing with the Braves in early-June, then reeled off a solid campaign while aiding a rotation in desperate need of stability. However, the Braves seemingly took themselves out of the market for soft-tossing left-handers when they signed Cole Hamels earlier this offseason. Any interest in Keuchel may have subsided from a Braves standpoint, but according to Boras there is significant interest from other teams to the extent that they are “deep in negotiations.”

Regardless, the market for Keuchel has improved drastically this offseason compared to last winter when the left-hander spurned all offers and held out for a mid-season deal. Much of that difficulty likely stemmed from the draft pick compensation attached to Keuchel last offseason, whereas this offseason there is no such penalty for interested teams. Keuchel was a valued member of the Braves, and as such appears headed for the deal that many thought would come a year ago.

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