MLB Rumors: Dallas Keuchel Was DFA Again; several suitors for Dominic Smith of the Mets

With the All-Star break now in the rearview mirror, the next benchmark of Major League Baseball’s 2022 season is the trade deadline. The traditional July 31 deadline has been pushed back two days to August 2 this year. Bearing in mind that there are now three wild cards per league, theoretically there could be more buyers than usual, although a very large number of teams don’t look like contenders, so maybe we’ll still have a similar number of sellers.

Let’s dive into it.

Keuchel DFA, again

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Southpaw Dallas starter Keuchel has been designated for assignment for the second time this season, according to Jeff Passan.

Keuchel, 34, started the season the third year of his three-year, $55 million deal with the White Sox. He was good in 2020, throwing to a 1.99 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 11 starts, but then regressed to a 5.28 ERA last season and 7.88 with 20 walks and 20 strikeouts in batting in 32 innings for the White Sox before letting him go. The Diamondbacks then grabbed him and in four starts he posted a 9.64 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. Walks weren’t as big of an issue and his strikeout rate went up in Arizona, but that’s a small sample and overall batters have destroyed Keuchel all year, to the tune of a triple slash of .338/.407/.564. Basically, every opposing hitter played like an MVP candidate against him.

The two-time All-Star and 2015 AL winner Cy Young should continue to find work, but he may have made his final MLB start this season.

Several suitors for Smith

The Mets sit first in eastern Newfoundland and Labrador and are on course to win over 100 games. They are therefore obviously not “salesmen” according to the traditional definition. They are however able to cut the bait on Dominic Smith, so they can process him.

The Cubs and Red Sox “and others” have expressed interest in Smith, according to Robert Murray. A possible complicating factor: Smith was placed on the disabled list on Thursday, retroactive to July 17, with a sprained ankle. He should be back before the deadline and anyone looking for Smith as a change of scenery guy might not be worried about that minor injury right now.

Smith, the former top-100 prospect, is now in his sixth season in MLB. He was very good in 2019 and in the shortened 2020 season he hit .316/.377/.616 (168 OPS+) with 21 doubles and 10 homers in 50 games. Last year, however, he hit .244/.304/.363 with 112 strikeouts in 446 strikeouts. This season he has gotten even worse, hitting 0.194 with a paltry 0.284 save percentage. He didn’t even hit a single home run. His 61 OPS+ and -0.4 WAR are simply unplayable for a team with playoff aspirations.

Any acquisition team would be looking for a post-hype Smith breakout and, hey, it happens sometimes.

Romo chooses free agency

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Reliever Sergio Romo, who was previously slated for assignment, cleared the waivers and decided to become a free agent, reports Ben Nicholson Smith.

Romo is 39 years old and in his 15th season in MLB. In 23 appearances this season, he has a 7.50 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 18 innings. He was somewhat usable for the A’s last season, but it’s probably fair to say he hasn’t been good for long stretches since 2019. He’ll make a name for himself elsewhere, but his MLB career is likely to drag on. its end.

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