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Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Dallas Keuchel knows what he’s worth and will not settle

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The man in sunglasses on a patio that overlooked a pool, a fairway and then the Pacific Ocean on Monday afternoon was Dallas Keuchel, who is at the moment unemployed. In his seventh month of free agency, what he desires is a job at a salary he considers to be fair, and what he has found instead is the long conversation about an industry he is willing to call on its failures.

He did not set out into free agency intent on further exposing its flaws, he said. He did not hope to conduct his free agency as a service to his fellow ballplayers or their union or, for that matter, conduct it into May and possibly June or whenever.

The plan, for what in his view was a relatively small and reasonable share of the profits, was to pitch.

He is 31 years old. He has been told his body is healthy, he said, down to every last MRI and every last subsequent sinkerball. A summer ago he was pitching to a 3.74 ERA across more than 200 innings, not his best — his best came with a Cy Young Award trophy, his next-best with a World Series parade — and still more than presentable. It is not a time to be pitching to junior college players every fifth day, even if they are game, even if it is what prepares him for a season already six weeks gone.

It will be interesting to see how much longer this lasts, especially as demolition derby continues with MLB pitching.


 

 

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