Former Astros left-handed starter Dallas Keuchel remains unsigned here on April 18. Several teams that expect to contend this season definitely having room in the rotation for someone who could be a stabilizing force. We sometimes go weeks without hearing a Keuchel rumor, but we got one on Thursday thanks to Jon Heyman: 

Le'ts unpack: 

  • Keuchel being willing to take a one-year deal is significant. If he was still holding out for a multi-year deal the reality would probably be that it would take something drastic to make that happen. Something else to consider if Keuchel does sign a one-year deal: There would be no draft compensation if he signs after the MLB draft, which takes place June 3-5. Further, if Keuchel signs after that, he wouldn't be subject to a qualifying offer next offseason which is what attaches draft compensation. 
  • The Brewers "maybe" being "under the radar" doesn't seem like a lot of smoke in terms of actual interest. It seems more like a "this team would make sense" because the Brewers really would. Youngsters Freddy Peralta (7.13 ERA, on the injured list) and  Corbin Burnes (10.70 ERA, 11 HR allowed in 17 2/3 innings) have struggled. Brandon Woodruff is sporting a 5.23 ERA and Jhoulys Chacin (6.52) has also been bad. The bullpen in front of Josh Hader -- and now the returning Jeremy Jeffress -- could stand to be upgraded, too, and that would happen with someone like Burnes going back to it. The Brewers' payroll is big ($127.5M) given the market size, but they draw well and have an owner who is actually willing to pay for the product on the field. 
  • The Phillies and Padres also do make a lot of sense, especially the Padres to add a veteran presence who has been through deep postseasons to work with some of the hot young arms. 
  • The Astros are going really well without Keuchel, having won 11 in a row before a loss broke the streak Wednesday night. No one in the rotation is really sticking out as a glaring weakness right now, either, but there's likely a comfort level here for both sides. 

Keuchel, 31, is a two-time All-Star and won the 2015 AL Cy Young. Last year, he was 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA (110 ERA+), 1.31 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings. He's certainly trending down but he's still a mid-rotation starter and his pedigree should make him an attractive add for whatever team eventually signs him. 

Though he's been said to be throwing 95-pitch simulated games to stay in shape, he'd still need a minor-league "rehab" assignment before making the majors. From the time he signs with someone, factor in around three weeks or so before he makes his 2019 MLB debut.