Stern: Nats should go after Dallas Keuchel

Josh Luckenbaugh
February 25, 2019 - 12:06 pm

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Mark Lerner declared last week the Nationals have "moved on" from Bryce Harper. Should they set their sights on another high-profile free agent?

If you ask Casey Stern, he believes Washington should go after Dallas Keuchel and build the best pitching staff in baseball.

Stern brought up the possibility on Grant & Danny while discussing Harper's possible landing spots, including the Nats and the rival Phillies. 

"You go to the Nats, you're best team on paper in the league, if not all of baseball. You go to the Phillies, and I still think you may lose out to the Nationals, who in my opinion should just go after Keuchel," said Stern.

"You've got all of Scott (Boras)'s guys anyway, and just blow it out with five great starters and just win with pitching." 

Signing Keuchel would give the Nationals the most loaded pitching staff in the majors after Washington brought in Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez earlier in the offseason, adding to the already excellent duo of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg

As of now, one could still make the argument the Nats have the best staff in baseball, but there's question marks about the back end of the rotation, which will rely on veterans Sanchez and Jeremy Hellickson, a Joe Ross less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery and the inexperienced Erick Fedde

The 31-year old Keuchel is a two-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and won the 2015 AL Cy Young and 2017 World Series with the Astros. Last season he went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 204.2 innings, leading the AL with 34 starts along with Houston teammate Justin Verlander. 

"I had thought Keuchel was a great fit for the Nats not really realizing Corbin would end up there. I still think it's a fit," Stern said. "If Philly goes and gets Harper — I know we always say teams never react to each other — why not?"

"Your pitching staff's already better than Philadelphia's, you're gonna have to have something you have a huge advantage on over them because this has been about Harper for a year, he's gonna be there for the next decade."

"I'd go get Keuchel. Why not?" Stern continued. "It's not gonna be a long-term contract, where else is he going right now? There's nobody else in there."

"Go ahead and overload in the starting rotation. Because right now, to me, the Nationals' pitching staff, one all the way through the back, is better than Philadelphia's, and I actually think it's a significant advantage."

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