Mariners sign former division rival pitcher five years too late

At least it's a minor-league deal.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Dallas Keuchel
Minnesota Twins pitcher Dallas Keuchel / Bob Levey/GettyImages

The Seattle Mariners did a thing on Tuesday. Whether it will actually make them a better team in 2024 seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened. The Mariners signed Dallas Keuchel to a minor-league contract, and according to Daniel Kramer of, the left-hander will report to Triple-A Tacoma.

Now if the Mariners had made this deal, say, five years ago, then the Seattle fanbase would actually have something to be excited about. After all, Keuchel is former Cy Young Award-winner and has a World Series championship to his name.

But it's 2024, not 2020, which was the last time Keuchel was even remotely relevant. The southpaw has bounced around the league the past several years. Keuchel pitched in 10 games for the Minnesota Twins last season.

Mariners sign former division rival Dallas Keuchel to MiLB contract

It's not a major league contract, and there's no guaranteed money, so it's not as if signing Keuchel is a bad deal. It's more along of the lines of why do it? The Mariners already have Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Bryce Miller, and Emerson Hancock. Yes, Bryan Woo was placed on the IL with elbow inflammation, but the M's rotation is still the strength of this team.

Keuchel was one of the best pitchers in the league during his time with the Houston Astros. Keuchel is a five-time Gold Glove Award-winner and took home the Cy Young in 2015. But once he left Houston, Keuchel was never the same.

The left-hander missed out on a chance to cash in during his first foray into the free agent market, eventually settling for a deal with the Atlanta Braves in 2019. Keuchel got his big-money deal with the Chicago White Sox prior to 2020, but was eventually designated for assignment in 2022 after falling out of favor with the South Siders.

Since his run with the White Sox, Keuchel has pitched for the Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Texas Rangers. Over the past two seasons, Keuchel owns a 7.96 ERA and has logged fewer than 100 innings.

Fans will have to wait and see whether or not Keuchel even gets called up to the Mariners active roster. Recent history is not on his side, but if little more than insurance with Woo on the IL, Mariners fans shouldn't get too upset.

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