Cincinnati Reds free agency preview: Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on August 7, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on August 7, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds are in serious need of starting pitching this offseason. Blog Red Machine is going to check out a few potential free agents who could help. Let’s see what Dallas Keuchel could bring to the Queen City.

Free agency doesn’t start for a few more weeks, but it’s never too early to preview which players the Cincinnati Reds may target this offseason. Obviously, starting pitching is far and away the biggest need for this ballclub going forward.

We’re taking a look today at perhaps the most coveted free agent starter on the market. If the Reds are serious about pursuing starting pitchers in free agency, they’re not going find anyone better than Dallas Keuchel.

Keuchel could be just what the doctor ordered to cure Cincinnati’s starting pitching woes. Keuchel is coming off a 12-win season in which he started 34 games. The price tag may be a bit too high for the Cincinnati Reds, but they owe it to themselves to see just how high the bidding goes.

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Keuchel has played his entire Major League career with the Houston Astros and this offseason will be his first chance to test free agency. With Scott Boras now representing the skilled lefty, he’s sure to command a pretty penny on the open market. Keuchel earned $13.2 million in salary during the 2018 season.

Keuchel is a three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner, and he won the Cy Young in 2015. Yeah, he’s really good. Like any elite-level starter, Keuchel has multiple pitches he can go to. Keuchel does not have overpowering stuff, but his four-seam fastball and sinker would be perfect pitches in Great American Ball Park. Keuchel induces a lot of groundballs from those pitches.

Keuchel’s injury history is pretty minimal. He missed some time during the 2017 season with a pinched nerve in his neck. But, since 2014 Keuchel has started 145 games, averaging 29 starts per year.

Dallas Keuchel will probably be the most coveted starting pitcher this offseason. Clayton Kershaw could opt-out of his contract, but his injury history will be a question mark for a lot of teams. While the Astros would love to have Keuchel back, Houston has a lot of depth in their starting rotation. With Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Lance McCullers, the Astros can afford to let Keuchel go.

Keuchel’s asking price will likely be over $20-million per year. Keuchel will be turning 31-years-old during the offseason and is likely to seek a 5-plus year deal. The Cincinnati Reds are already regretting their 6-year, $105-million deal with Homer Bailey. It’s hard to see the Reds getting involved in that kind of contract again.

Next. Free agency preview: Clay Buchholz

Keuchel has all the tools you look for in a No. 1 starter and would be a huge get for the Cincinnati Reds. However, his asking price will likely be astronomical. It’s hard to see the Reds bringing Keuchel on board, but they should at least make an inquiry.