Prior to the Crosstown series this weekend, the White Sox did what many thought impossible: ate a healthy seven figures of a contract.
Yes, Dallas Keuchel, still owed north of $13 million for the 2022 season and his $1.5 million buyout for 2023, was designated for assignment.
Today’s news provides confirmation that South Side Sox is at the top of GM Rick Hahn’s reading pile every morning, as our Darren Black pushed for this very move just hours ago.
Keuchel’s White Sox career might have even began star-crossed, as he was merely the consolation prize for losing out on free agent Zack Wheeler. However, despite the pandemic delay to 2020, the veteran was briefly regarded as a savior for the club, calling out his teammates after some dismal early play; in the aftermath, the team took off, briefly ascending to best-in-AL status before running out of gas in the last week of the season.
At the time, all White Sox players were asked about Keuchel’s “dressing down” of the team, and while most went along with it, the endorsement was muted. Manager Ricky Renteria in particular intimated that the “leadership” was not necessary.
In the postseason, Keuchel’s sub-2.00 season ERA was not a factor, as Oakland roughed him up badly to draw even the first round, 1-1, a series the White Sox would lose in three games.
From there, in a full 2021 season and eight starts of 2022, things got a lot worse for Keuchel, missing his spots (sorta key for a finesse pitcher) and become more and more of a trash fire on the mound. And still, his commentary about teammates and excuses made for himself continued; surely this did not endear himself in the clubhouse.
Keuchel was 2-5 with a 7.88 ERA/6.20 FIP, 20 strikeouts/20 walks, and 2.156 WHIP in his final run with the club this season.
The fall came fast: Just two seasons ago, Keuchel finished fifth in the American League Cy Young voting, with a 1.99 ERA in 11 starts.
As a temporary measure, Vince Velasquez is likely to return to the starting rotation in Keuchel’s stead. For now, frequent flier Danny Mendick is back with the White Sox to assume Keuchel’s roster spot.
CHICAGO – Prior to tonight’s series opener vs. the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox designated left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel for assignment and recalled infielder Danny Mendick from Class AAA Charlotte.