Astros' Keuchel sets record with $7.25M pre-arbitration deal
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel reached an agreement with the Houston Astros on a one-year deal for 2016 on Friday, eliminating the need for the two sides to head to arbitration.
Keuchel and the Astros linked up on a one-year, $7.25 million deal for next season -- which just so happens to be a record for players going through the arbitration process for the first time.
As the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich points out, Keuchel's pre-arbitration deal blows past the previous high for first-time eligible players. The previous high was $4.35 million, given to lefties Dontrelle Willis in 2006 and David Price in 2012.
Houston obviously wants to sign Keuchel long-term, but word recently was that the two sides were not working on terms of an extension just yet. However, after Friday's agreement GM Jeff Luhnow was quoted by Drellich as giving a bit of an update on that front:
“I think the answer to that is always going to be yes, because we’ve had discussions, we will probably have more discussions.
"It’s a challenging thing to sort out for both our sides."
To that end, Drellich notes that both Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum won Cy Young Awards before their first years of arbitration eligibility - the same situation currently faced by Keuchel -- so there is a bit of a precedent there. Whether the Astros are able to lock up Keuchel with an extension soon will be something worth following as the season nears.