Dallas Keuchel to resurface with Atlanta after 7 seasons in Houston

Dallas Keuchel, who rose through the Houston Astros farm system to become the ace of the team in a breakout 2015 season, is heading to the Atlanta Braves, ESPN reports.

After beginning the 2019 season without a team in free agency, the left-handed starter agreed to a one-year deal worth $13 million, ESPN and Yahoo confirmed. The salary is prorated for an amount closer to $20 million

Keuchel heads to Atlanta after seven seasons in Houston, which included four Gold Gloves, two All-Star Game selections, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award, and a World Series championship.

The Oklahoma native was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 Amateur Draft by Houston. He made his MLB debut in June 2012, quickly rising as an anchor starting pitcher for Houston.

Keuchel steadily improved from his first full season in Houston in 2013, to peaking at 20 wins in 2015. At that time, he had a career high 216 strikeouts to go with 232 innings pitched.

In the following years, sporadic injuries hampered his production, though, he came back with 14-5 record in 23 games in 2017.

Keuchel has been a reliable ground-ball pitcher, inducing more of them than the average across the majors. It's this pitching trait that won him his four Gold Gloves in five years.

Aside from his pitching exploits, Keuchel became a fan favorite when he started sporting a beard on the mound. The bushy facial hair became his trademark and a rallying fashion statement, especially in his Cy Young year.

Keuchel turned down a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer to remain in Houston. He remained without a team to start the season, despite drawing interest from a handful of teams. The lefty had to wait after the MLB draft for a deal. Had he signed elsewhere before then, his new team would have had to give up compensatory picks to the Astros by virtue of the qualifying offer.

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