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Report: Blue Jays interested in Keuchel

Patrick McDermott / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Toronto Blue Jays have interest in free-agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported this week.

Keuchel is represented by super-agent Scott Boras and the 2015 Cy Young Award winner is expected to net a handsome contract this winter. Though it remains unclear how much the Blue Jays would be willing to pay, he could help fill a need on a team that's currently slated to open the season with a relatively young and inexperienced rotation behind stalwarts Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez.

Pitcher Throws Age MLB Service Time
Marcus Stroman R 27 4.148
Aaron Sanchez R 26 4.069
Ryan Borucki L 24 0.088
Sean Reid-Foley R 23 0.049
Thomas Pannone L 25 0.049

Adding a veteran arm such as Keuchel's would provide immediate stability and innings in the season to come, while also giving the younger arms more time to develop.

The Blue Jays are turning the page from their consecutive playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016, and are expected to try and shed some payroll this winter. They've reportedly put veteran catcher Russell Martin on the market, and if they're able to move his $20-million salary it could open up space to add a free agent.

Keuchel, who has spent his entire career with the Houston Astros, posted a 3.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and averaged 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 2018, while also allowing a MLB-leading 211 hits. The 30-year-old continued to provide excellent defense at his position this year and was honored with his fourth career Gold Glove award.

The New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds are among the other teams that have been linked to Keuchel this offseason.

In addition to their apparent interest in Keuchel, the Blue Jays have also met with left-hander J.A. Happ - who pitched for the team from 2016 until this past July - about a possible reunion. They're also one of a multitude of teams who have been looking at right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.

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