The offseason has been long and boring for most teams and front offices. For the Cincinnati Reds, though, it has not. They’ve been very active, both in action and in attempt. Since the start of the offseason they’ve been rumored to be one of the teams that was going to go for free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel. He was arguably the best free agent pitcher on the market, but probably no worse than the third best pitcher on the free agent market. But it’s now February 4th and spring training starts in a week, and he’s still unsigned.
In theory, at least, the longer a player remains unsigned, the lower their asking price will be. Whether teams are doing this on purpose or not can be debated, but that theory holds at least some water. The offseason began with rumors of a 5-year, roughly $100M price tag out there for Dallas Keuchel. There hasn’t been much that’s changed, at least that we’ve seen. The talk of contracts that have been offered, or requested, haven’t really existed. All that we’ve seen is that the Astros offered him a 2-year deal, and that two other teams have offered him a 3-year deal. No word on dollar amounts.
For the Cincinnati Reds, though, it doesn’t seem that it matters if the price has dropped or not. According to Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds are out on Dallas Keuchel because they didn’t like what they saw on his medical reports. The 31-year-old is coming off of season in which he threw 204.2 innings with a 3.74 ERA. The year prior he had an ERA of 2.90, but only threw 145.2 innings. Still, he showed he was healthy with his 2018, facing the most batters in the American League. Or, well, he was healthy enough to stay on the mound to throw 214.2 innings between the regular season and the playoffs.
Whatever it was, though, Cincinnati didn’t feel comfortable with something they saw in his medical reports. Even with a boatload of healthy innings behind him just last year. The rumors from over the weekend from Jon Heyman have the team still seeking a starting pitcher. Whoever it is, though, it seems like it’s not going to be Dallas Keuchel.