Can Astros resume with Dallas Kuechel, infielder / outsider Marvin Gonzalez or both?
Owner Jim Crane hinted that the club might be interested in two free agents who are key figures from the Houston team who won the World Series in 2017.
"There are a couple of boys who were here last year who could return this year," Crane said.
– I hope this happens.
It is not clear where Gonzalez will come from but Keuchel, the Cy Young award winner in 2015, will fill a rotation gap that needs a veteran depth in the absence of Lance McCullers Jr. who will miss the entire season 2019. after an operation by Tommy John.
The alleged departure of Keuchel, who spent the winter trying his luck in the free agents market, created a new hole in rotation that will be led by Justin Werlander, Gerrit Cole and Collin McHugh, who will return to rotation this year after relieving in 2018.
Is it possible for the gap created by Keuchel to be filled by Keuchel himself?
Astros president and general manager Jeff Lukhov admitted that he was still looking for ways to improve the list, but refused to identify specific players he may have in his sights.
"We were interested in both players and they know it," Lukhov said.
"Obviously, both have been key parts of our success over the past six years, we would like them to remain part of the family, but that's a topic I can not talk about."
Can he have a meeting with FA Keechel and / or Marvin? At Astros gala, owner Jim Crane shows that the door is open. – We have a couple of guys who were here last year and who have the opportunity to come back here (this year). We hope this will happen. pic.twitter.com/aakXzsGZny
– Alison Footer (@alysonfooter)
January 26, 2019
If Astros had to sign one of the two, Kuccel would have more logic. There may not be room for Gonzalez, whose role was filled with Cedar's Aldemis Diaz, which Astros acquires in commerce early in the winter.
But while Gonzalez and Kechull do not sign officially, apparently the Astros door is open.
"They are both great players and very good for franchising," Crane said.
"They've done a lot of work here and we appreciate it, they're always welcome, maybe something will work there, who knows?"