The Houston Astros and left-hander Dallas Keuchel are interested in a possible extension, he told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
The team and Keuchel's representatives at Frontline Sports Management, headed by Darek Braunecker, have discussed a multi-year deal, he said:
“[Houston] is all I’ve known, and it’s where I want to be. I know we’re in a great position for the next probably five, 10 years… it’s all about winning. Me personally, it’s not about the dollar amount. … With that being said, it’s got to be something that’s fair and that’s right for both parties. I’m not trying to break the bank. I’m just out here to have fun and pitch and do the best I can.”
Keuchel is first-time arbitration eligible this offseason and is under team control through 2018. It's not known if the Astros will try to work out a deal to try and buy out a couple of his free agent years with the new deal.
It is possible, however, that the two sides try and work out a deal that buys out his arbitration years, while also adding team options for his potential free agent seasons.
A benefit for Keuchel in signing an extension is that it provides some financial stability through arbitration, especially if he does not perform as well as he is right now or gets injured. A benefit for the team, however, is that they might be able to get a reduced arbitration-year rate for Keuchel if in fact he does continue on the same pace he's currently on.
As noted by Drellich, Wade Miley and Lance Lynn were two pitchers that were in comparable situations to Keuchel's last offseason that both signed extensions. Miley and Lynn both signed away their three arbitration seasons for $19.25 and $22 million, respectively.
Keuchel, however, could figure to get more than Miley and Lynn, due to a strong past two seasons where he established himself amongst the best pitchers in the American League. Keuchel's arbitration seasons could be valued at about $25 million. It's possible an extension could be reached in the $22-25 million range.
As stated above, Keuchel is among the best pitchers in the American League. This season, he's led the Astros staff with a 14-6 record with a 2.37 ERA (2.74 FIP), working to 7.9 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 over his 178 2/3 innings pitched.