BREAKING: White Sox sign Dallas Keuchel to three-year contract

Matthew Rago, Managing Editor

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The Chicago White Sox signed left-handed starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel to three-year contract, $55.5 million dollar option with a vested fourth year option.

The 2015 Cy Young winner spent the 2019 season with the Atlanta Braves, going 8-8 with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.367 WHIP. After failing to attract the type of free agent offer he anticipated after a stellar 2018 season with the Houston Astros, Keuchel essentially placed a bet on his own durability, helping the Braves return to the postseason for the first time since 2013.

Though Keuchel, 31, may not be the dominant pitcher he was in 2015, he still possesses the repertoire and pitching IQ to keep opposing hitters off balance, as evidenced by his 2.90 ERA in 2018. During his 2015 Cy Young campaign, Keuchel relied on deception rather than velocity. His power pitches sat in the 88-90 mph range with devious movement while his slider kept hitters on both sides of the plate honest. Furthermore, Keuchel relentlessly pounds the inside corner, tying overzealous hitters in knots. Additionally, the idea of supplementing Keuchel’s propesnity to paint the corners with newly-acquired Yasmani Grandal’s scarcely-paralleled ability to frame borderline pitches likely has the Sox coaching staff salivating.

The acquisition of Keuchel also shores up a White Sox rotation that was riddled with question marks. Michael Kopech, who impressed in his abbreviated stint in the majors in 2018, missed the entire 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and is expected back in May. Former staff ace Carlos Rodon’s career has been derailed by injuries, with his latest Tommy John surgery keeping him out until June at the earliest. Both Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez struggled tremendously in 2019, unable to form a capable 2-3 punch behind All-Star Lucas Giolito.

While Rodon, Kopech, Lopez and Cease each have the stuff to rebound from injury or substandard performance, each pitcher poses a significant what-if on a team looking to contend for the postseason for the first time since 2008. Aside from his pitching prowess, Keuchel offers a steadying presence at the top of the rotation, as the Sox know they are receiving a front-end starter with a World Series pedigree.