With free agent closer Craig Kimbrel off the market and headed to join the Chicago Cubs, the rumors for free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel are beginning to heat up. Keuchel has been most connected with the New York Yankees, but a few other teams have joined the sweepstakes, SNY’s Andy Martino reports.

Here’s more from Martino, who notes three other teams are after Keuchel:

The Yankees continue to talk with free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel, but are facing late competition from the St. Louis Cardinals and other teams, according to major league sources.

The Braves and Twins have also been involved, though the exact level of their interest was unclear on Thursday morning.

As SNY reported last week, the Yanks are a frontrunner to sign Keuchel. Sources would not say if New York is willing to go more than one year on the 31-year-old former Cy Young Award-winner, whose performance has declined in recent seasons.

As we noted earlier, the 2019 MLB Draft was expected to open up the markets for both Keuchel and Kimbrel. Now, the team that ultimately lands Keuchel will no longer have to forfeit a draft pick.

Keuchel, 31, is 76-63 with a 3.66 ERA in seven major league seasons, all with the Houston Astros. Keuchel’s agent Scott Boras recently said that he could be ready to pitch in a MLB game a week after signing. The former Cy Young winner has thrown seven simulated games (95-104 pitches), every five days, to prepare for an eventual starting role with a team.

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