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Dallas Keuchel signs with the Atlanta Braves

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The Braves make the right move, in my opinion.

Gatorade All-Star Workout Day Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Earlier today we discussed Craig Kimbrel to the Cubs. I’m happy the Braves didn’t make that move.

Yes, the bullpen has been a serious issue, but this addition of Keuchel helps to shore up a shaky starting rotation. There still isn’t a front-of-the-rotation piece, but it’s possible that a sum-of-all-the-parts approach could pay dividends—especially with further growth from some of Atlanta’s young guns. Also, it’s not like the Braves are the Nationals (6.68 ERA). Atlanta relievers have a combined 4.25 ERA, which ranks 14th in the MLB. Meanwhile, the outlook is a bit improved with emergence of Luke Jackson and Touki Toussaint—as well as the addition of Anthony Swarzak. There’s also the addition of Sean Newcomb from the starting rotation. And don’t forget that A.J. Minter is getting healthy in Triple-A and could make an impact further along into the season. I’m not as worried about the ‘pen as I am about the starters.

The 4.38 ERA by Atlanta starters ranks 17th in the league—and if anything, this trend is downward due to struggles by Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz. In Atlanta, the Braves will have the luxury of taking their time stretching Keuchel out—I think agent Scott Boras’ one week prediction is too aggressive. There simply isn’t a need for that in Atlanta, with five viable (albeit shaky) starters: Julio Teheran, Max Fried, Kevin Gausman, Mike Foltynewicz, and Mike Soroka. One of these guys will be the odd man out when Keuchel is ready, and such a move only further solidifies the bullpen.

I really, really, really like this move for the Braves in real life. In fake life, I think Atlanta is preferable to the Yankees. This way you avoid the AL East and get the benefit of Keuchel facing the other team’s pitcher. And Keuchel is reunited with catcher Brian McCann, who already knows him from their days in Houston. I love it.

Steamer projects 92 innings, 6 wins (15 starts), 75 strikeouts, a 3.85 ERA, and a 1.35 WHIP.

What say you guys? Was Keuchel worth the wait?