On Monday, coveted free agents Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel officially became unrestricted free agents, meaning teams could sign them without losing a draft pick. That draft pick was especially valuable to the Braves who are restricted from the international pool for the foreseeable future thanks to the actions of former GM John Coppolella. Now that they will no longer lose a draft selection, Kimbrel and Keuchel have become free-game for Alex Anthopoulos.
Everyone in Braves Country would love to see Kimbrel rocking a tomahawk across his chest. He started his career here, had his best output in Atlanta, and the Braves bullpen is a well-documented dumpster fire. However, according to Mark Feisand of MLB.com, it is Dallas Keuchel that the Braves are targeting.
According to a source, the Yankees and Braves are the favorites to sign Dallas Keuchel. Both teams are believed to be in the same area with their offers at the moment.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 4, 2019
Feinsand pegs the Yankees and Braves as the favorites to land the former Cy Young Award winner. A couple of weeks ago, this might have come off as surprising. But after Folty and Gausman have failed to piece it together, the Braves need another starting arm. Keuchel also acknowledged that he would accept a one-year deal, which is much more in the Braves wheelhouse.
As far as Craig Kimbrel goes, it is looking more and more unlikely that he returns to Atlanta. He waited this long for a reason – to get the long-term contract he rightfully deserves. The Braves don’t appear interested in meeting those demands.