In February, a random player visited Hanwha’s Arizona camp and attracted the attention of the players. When the news that these players visited the stadium circulated, even Hanwha pitchers, who had finished practicing, went down to the field again with their cell phones and began to capture the pitches on video.
Major League Cy Young Award winners Jack Greinke (40, Kansas City) and Dallas Keuchel (35, Minnesota) were the main characters. Major League Baseball spring training usually starts in mid-February. Unlike KBO League players who start camp on February 1 and have about 15 days of technical and physical training, Major League Baseball players already finish their bodies before the camp starts. That’s how you can start the exhibition game schedule immediately after training for about a week.
Greinke and Keuchel were also in the process of building up at a private training center in Arizona before spring training. Coincidentally, the movements overlapped with Hanwha players. There was a reason why Hanwha players picked up their mobile phones at an opportunity that they didn’t know when. They were not in their heyday, but their careers were so great.굿모닝토토
Keuchel, not to mention Greinke, who won more than 200 Major League titles, was also a player with a great career. Keuchel, who made his major league debut in Houston in 2012, threw 232 innings in 33 games in 2015 following his first double-digit win (12 wins) in 2014, ranking fifth in the American League Cy Young Award and MVP voting with a whopping 20-8 ERA.
Keuchel, who reigned as a top pitcher with 14 wins in 2017 and 12 wins in 2015, signed a three-year total of $55.5 million with the Chicago White Sox ahead of the 2020 season and was also recognized for his own value in the free agent (FA) market. It was not as valuable as it was when he won the Cy Young Award, but he was evaluated to have enough ability to turn around the starting rotation. Ahead of the 2020 season, he came to the FA market at the same time as Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto) and received our attention.
Since then, however, the move has been tough. He performed well in 2020, which was a shortened season due to COVID-19, but began to go downhill clearly from 2021. He recorded 9 wins and 9 losses in 32 games in 2021, but his ERA remained at 5.28. It wasn’t a career-like performance for Keuchel. After failing to rebound in 2022, the White Sox released it despite the remaining contract period.
▲ Dallas Keuchel, who went back and forth between three teams last year but stayed at his worst performance
After his release, he signed with Arizona, but he was also released again after a slump, and he signed with Texas, but as he was sluggish there, the team he was looking for now disappeared. His overall 2022 performance was 2 wins, 9 losses, and a 9.20 ERA in 14 games, becoming a completely ruined player. When Hanwha players saw him, Keuchel was in a shabby situation waiting for other teams to contact him because he did not have his own team.
Keuchel’s “invincible” status lasted quite a while. He only signed a minor league contract with Minnesota in June. He immediately came up to the Major League and took a chance to turn around, but it is close. As of the 13th, he has one win, one loss, and a 4.78 ERA in six games (five starts).
Keuchel is not as strong as he used to be. Keuchel, who was not a huge fastball pitcher but did well based on sophisticated breaking balls, commands, and the extraordinary power of the ball, drew a sharp aging curve. This year, the number of strikeouts per nine innings is only 4.8. He became a pitcher who guessed and caught, and as a result, there are many ups and downs in each game. He pitches well on days when he is well controlled and a little lucky, but he often gets hit hard on days when he is not.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who signed an FA contract at the same time, also ranked third in the 2020 Cy Young Award vote and has been somewhat down since 2021. He also underwent fatal elbow surgery in 2022. However, he has been showing off his strong performance since returning this year. In the game against Texas on the 13th, he recorded his first quality start (more than six innings and less than three earned runs) since his return, recording three wins, three losses, and a 2.93 ERA in eight games.
They are the two players who will qualify for the FA side by side after this season. He has a brilliant career, a veteran left-hander, and has something in common that he does not rely on restraint. However, while Ryu Hyun-jin is certain to receive a major league guarantee contract, Keuchel has not yet reached that level. If he misses a little, he may be on the minor league contract front again. Attention is drawn to the FA market treatment of the two players, who are likely to have similar utilization at a similar age.