Houston Astros head to free agency bidding war over keeping Dallas Keuchel

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dallas Keuchel's services will now go to the highest bidder.

The Houston Astros announced Monday that the Cy Young Award-winning left-handed pitcher declined their qualifying offer to remain with the club. If accepted, Keuchel would have remained in Houston on a one-year, $17.9 million contract.

Keuchel was offered the qualifying tender on Nov. 3 and he had up to 10 days to decide on it.

The 30-year-old has been a member of the Astros for all seven seasons of his MLB career. In 2018, he went 12-11 on 34 starts. He also garnered his fourth Gold Glove selection.

Over the weekend, Keuchel expressed a willingness to shave his trademark beard if the New York Yankees paid for his services next year. In an interview with Fox Business Channel, Keuchel said, "For the right opportunity, I would happily shave this beard off."

Keuchel is just one piece of the starting rotation that the club hopes to keep. The Astros also have to decide on whether to keep Charlie Morton, a free agent this offseason. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are locked up for 2019. Lance McCullers Jr. is out for next season after Tommy John surgery.


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