Rangers sign Dallas Keuchel for Minor League deal

The Rangers have signed Dallas Keuchel to a minor league contract, according to a team announcement. The winner of AL Cy Young 2015 will report to Triple-A Round Rock soon.

Texas becomes the third team of the year to roll the dice on Keuchel. The two-time All-Star started the season with the White Sox, playing the final campaign of the three-year free agent deal he signed during the 2019-20 season. Keuchel thrived in the first season of that deal, posting an ERA of 1.99 to 63 1/3 innings during the shortened campaign. He could no longer sustain that production the following year, as the veteran southpaw was hit hard last season for a 5.28 ERA over 162 frames.

While the Sox certainly hoped Keuchel could bounce back this year, that hasn’t turned out to be the case. He was tagged for a 7.88 ERA through his first eight starts with the South Siders, with a similar strikeout of 12.2% and running speed. Chicago released him in late May, and he entered the open market after passing unclaimed waivers. The Diamondbacks added him to a minor league deal a few days later, and he returned to the desert majors in late June. Arizona’s pitching coach Brent Strom had worked closely with Keuchel during his heyday with the Astros, but their second stint together proved short-lived.

Keuchel made only four starts for the Snakes. He served 22 runs (20 earned) to 18 2/3 frames, though he did post a respectable 18:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Still, the number of hard contacts he gave up was enough for Arizona to let him go in a matter of weeks.

There’s no risk to the Rangers trying to get Keuchel back on track. The White Sox remain on the hook for his salary, and Texas would only be responsible for the prorated share of the $700K minimum wage if he made it to the majors. Lack of rotational depth was an issue, with each of Taylor Hearn, Glenn Ottoc and Spencer Howard posting an ERA of 5.40 or higher. Keuchel adds 11 years of MLB experience and a robust list of career accolades to the senior tiers of the organization, though his 2022 results were worse than Hearn and Otto’s.

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