The Indians can certainly relate to the adage of not having too much pitching. With five top-level starters in the rotation, pitching is definitely the backbone of this team. However, with injuries to Mike Clevinger, Danny Salazar, Adam Plutko, and struggling starts by Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, it’s time to start looking at some solutions. How does Dallas Keuchel sound?
Keuchel is two-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015, just a season after Kluber won his first. Keuchel doesn’t have the sexy numbers in comparison to the rest of the Indians rotation, but, minus a couple seasons, he has been a model of consistency.
Of Keuchel’s seven MLB seasons, his best years have come in four of the last five seasons. On average, Keuchel will win you 17 games over a 162-game season, a higher total than Carrasco and Trevor Bauer. Now, by no means is Keuchel better than Carrasco and Bauer, not anymore at least, but Keuchel would be the perfect fix for an injury-riddled team right now, even if temporarily.
Despite cutting a contending team’s payroll by $15 million this year, the Dolan’s have stated that the Indians could still be buyers at the trade deadline. If Keuchel is a serviceable and productive pitcher to bridge the gap until Clevinger, Salazar and Plutko can all make healthy returns, Keuchel would be the perfect trade piece to deepen the bench while Keuchel can find a home with a team that will need his services more than the Indians would.
Keuchel has been sitting without a team since the Astros’ season ended last October, surprisingly, meaning he will not garner that much money to sign him to a short-term deal. Not to mention, Keuchel is only in his age-31 season, making him younger than both Kluber and Carrasco. He shouldn’t need much time to get up to game speed once he’s signed.
Imagine a rotation with Keuchel as it’s fifth option, that would mean the Indians would have three All-Stars and four different pitchers to garner a top-five vote in the Cy Young Award race. Opposing batters should beware.