July 21: The Diamondbacks have announced their slate of roster moves, with Keuchel slated for assignment. His place on the active list will go to the right-hander Ian Kennedy, who was reinstated from the 15-day injured list. With the spot free on the 40-man roster, right-handed JB Bukauskas recovered from IL 60 days and opted for Triple-A.
July 20: Diamondbacks named veteran left-hander Dallas Keuchel for the assignment, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (by Twitter). The team has yet to officially announce the move.
It’s the second DFA of the season for Keuchel, who was let go by the White Sox earlier this year while playing the third and final season of a three-year, $55.5 million deal. Former AL winner Cy Young posted an immaculate 1.99 ERA in 11 starts with the ChiSox during the shortened 2020 season, but recorded a lackluster 5.28 ERA in 30 starts a year ago. year before taking another step back in 2022.
Keuchel was rocked for a 7.88 ERA with the Sox, going just 32 innings despite eight starts. The D-backs brought him to a minor league contract after lifting waivers and becoming a free agent, hoping a reunion with former Astros pitching coach Brent Strom – now the pitching coach in Arizona – could help Keuchel tap into some of his previous successes. This, however, did not turn out to be the case. Keuchel remarkably struggled even more with the Snakes, producing 22 points (20 earned) in just 18 2/3 frames heading into today’s DFA.
To Keuchel’s credit, he posted significantly improved strikeout and walk rates in Arizona. After posting identical strikeout and walk rates of 12.2% in Chicago — both among the league’s worst rookie ratings — he posted a strikeout rate of 20.2% against a strikeout rate of 7.9% walk with D-backs. Strikeout rate is still below average, but that walk rate is solid, and Keuchel can still induce grounders at an above average rate (albeit nowhere near his peak rate when he was perpetually among the league leaders).
Whether that’s enough for another club to take a look remains to be seen. Keuchel will be waived within the week and will likely be cleared a second time and become a free agent again. He’ll likely settle for a minor league deal wherever he lands next.