Astros extend qualifying offer to Dallas Keuchel

By Matt Johnson
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros extended a qualifying offer to starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel on Friday, ensuring they will receive draft pick compensation if he declines it and leaves in free agency.

Keuchel became just the seventh player to receive a qualifying offer this season. Like the other six players, he is expected to reject the one-year, $17.9 million offer and become a free agent.

A former Cy Young winner, Keuchel heads into free agency coming off a solid but not spectacular season. The 30-year-old southpaw recorded a 3.74 ERA and 1.31 WHIP across 34 starts this season with 153 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings.

Keuchel will be coveted by a plethora of teams this offseason, including the New York Yankees, with many teams desperately in need of a strong mid-rotation starter with the upside to be a No. 2 starter in a rotation.

The Astros will certainly explore retaining Keuchel this offseason, but a deep farm system could make it less of a priority for them. If Keuchel leaves in free agency, Houston will receive draft-pick compensation for it.