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The Chicago White Sox are willing to pay pitcher Dallas Keuchel to sit at home and do nothing. The team designated Keuchel and his $18 million salary for assignment Saturday.
Keuchel started eight games for the White Sox in 2022. He has a 7.88 ERA in those starts.
Prior to tonight’s series opener vs. the Chicago Cubs, the #WhiteSox designated left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel for assignment and recalled infielder Danny Mendick from Class AAA Charlotte.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 28, 2022
Given Keuchel's struggles, it's unlikely he will get claimed, or that the White Sox will find a trade partner for the left hander. Once Keuchel clears waivers, the White Sox will likely release him.
The White Sox are still on the hook for Keuchel's $18 million salary in 2022. Keuchel also had a $20 million club option for the 2023 MLB season that would vest depending on how many innings Keuchel threw in 2022. With the release, the White Sox ensured Keuchel will not reach that option.
With Keuchel gone, Chicago will rely on veteran Johnny Cueto as its No. 5 starter. Cueto has thrown 12 scoreless innings in two starts with the team. He got a late start to the season after signing with the White Sox in April.
Dallas Keuchel signed $55.5 million deal in 2020
Keuchel joined the White Sox prior to the 2020 MLB season. He signed a 3-year, $55.5 million deal with the team following a one-year stint with the Atlanta Braves. Keuchel looked strong initially, posting a 1.99 ERA during the pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB season. He finished fifth in the American League Cy Young voting that year.
Things fell apart after that season. After a middling start to the 2021 MLB season, Keuchel posted a 2.70 ERA over 26 2/3 innings in June. He collapsed after that, posting a 6.78 ERA the rest of the year.
Those struggles got even worse in 2022. In his eight starts, Keuchel has the same amount of walks as he does strikeouts. He's failed to reach five innings in four of those starts.
While Keuchel wasn't effective, the move leaves the White Sox extremely thin in the rotation. The team will have to hope Cueto is in for a resurgent year and that Michael Kopech can hold up over a full season. Kopech, who has a 1.29 ERA over 42 innings, hasn't exceeded 100 innings pitched since the 2018 season.