The Washington Nationals have their sights set on another stellar starting pitcher despite already signing left-hander Patrick Corbin to a massive six-year deal worth $140 million. According to Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports, the Nationals are interested in signing free agent left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel.
However, as Zuckerman explains, the Nationals are leery of giving the 2015 AL Cy Young the five or six-year deal he is seeking.
Washington now boasts one of the best 1-2-3 punch in the starting rotation in MLB with the addition of Corbin with three-time Cy Young Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. However, after trading Tanner Roark to the Cincinnati Reds earlier this week and Gio Gonzalez in August, the bottom of the rotation is less than stellar.
Adding Keuchel would arguably give Washington the best one through four rotation. Last season, he pitched 204.2 innings but allowed a MLB-high 211 hits. However, he did win a gold glove for his outstanding defense and posted a 3.74 ERA with 153 strikeouts for the Houston Astros.
Adding a starting pitcher of Keuchel’s caliber would be perfect to offset the potential loss of slugger Bryce Harper in free agency. Yet, the Nationals have already committed to three long-term deals worth over $100 million to their top three hurlers. It’s understandable they wouldn’t want to commit in a fourth long-term deal.
In addition to the Nationals, Keuchel is drawing interest from the Phillies, Braves, Reds, and Blue Jays.