Bold Prediction Number One: The Chicago White Sox sign Dallas Keuchel
The White Sox need starting pitching, bad.
Do they need an ace? Not yet. In the present, they could certainly use a front line starting pitcher, but the farm system is loaded with potential aces.
However, Rick Hahn isn’t one to sit back and let things happen. If there’s someone on the market that can make the current and future White Sox better, I think he’ll jump at it.
Enter Dallas Keuchel.
The 2016 American League Cy Young Award Winner, Keuchel is the top remaining starting pitcher on the free agent market.
A two-time All Star, Keuchel is coming off of a solid season in which he went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA. At the age of 30, Keuchel will likely look for a three year deal, which would go along perfectly with the White Sox’ plans.
A three-year deal for Keuchel in the $50-55 million range would be a great deal for the White Sox. They’d be able to get their Jon Lester, albeit at a lesser cost, leaving more money to sign a big name bat.
Additionally, Keuchel is the perfect ace for a young White Sox team. The White Sox lack veteran leadership despite having a strong clubhouse chemistry, and adding a former World Series Champion would be the perfect addition to the team.
The White Sox certainly aren’t used to having this much money to spend, and the way that they use it will be important. Keuchel is approaching the wrong side of thirty, and has shown some rough patches despite a successful past couple seasons.
The risk factor is pretty high, but if this one works out, then the White Sox will be looking really good, getting a top-notch ace at a relatively low price. It won’t even be as much about the money that they didn’t spend on Keuchel, it’ll be more about what the White Sox decide to do with it.