The White Sox are in agreement with free-agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel, per a report Saturday night from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the deal will pay Keuchel $55.5 million over three years and includes a vesting option worth $18.5 million for 2023:
BREAKING: Left-hander Dallas Keuchel and the Chicago White Sox are in agreement on a deal, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 22, 2019
Keuchel White Sox deal: 3/$55.5M with a vesting 4th year that could take to 4/$74M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 22, 2019
Keuchel, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Braves in June of this year after going unsigned several months into the season due to the fact that he had a qualifying offer attached to him and teams were unwilling to part with draft picks. Over 19 starts with Atlanta, he threw for a 3.75 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP, striking out 91 and walking 39 over 112.2 innings. He held the Cardinals to one run while allowing five hits and three walks over 4.2 innings in Game 1 of the NLDS, but he struggled while pitching on short rest in Game 4 of that series, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk over 3.1 innings.
The 2015 AL Cy Young winner and two-time All-Star posted a 3.66 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP while spending the first seven years of his career in an Astros uniform. Now he’ll return to the American League and serve as a solid front-of-the-rotation option alongside Lucas Giolito — and perhaps Michael Kopech, depending on how the former top prospect bounces back from Tommy John surgery.
The White Sox still have a lot of work to do — namely, they don’t have a major-league-caliber second baseman, they could stand to find a center fielder better than Adam Engel to bridge the gap to Luis Robert, and they’ll need someone to fill whichever position José Abreu isn’t playing, whether that’s first base or DH. But given how watered down the AL Central is as a whole right now, this move gives the White Sox a rather legitimate chance to compete for the division title in 2020.