Dallas Keuchel
(AP Photo / David J. Phillip)

The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are both monitoring Dallas Keuchel’s situation while they battle for the AL East crown.

Danny Small

The New York Yankees look like the real deal this season. Despite suffering a slew of injuries to major contributors, they’re just a mere one game back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the loss column for the American League East lead. However, the two clubs might also battle for the right to sign former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network spoke with RADIO.COM’s Big Time Baseball podcast and discussed the possibility of Keuchel landing with the Rays.

“I do think that the Rays are looking at Dallas Keuchel,” Heyman said. “I know the Rays have been connected to [Craig] Kimbrel already. That shocked a lot of people, but I think that is true as we know. They’re at the very bottom of the salary standings, as a matter of fact. It’s a credit to them that they’ve been able to put together such a good team with such a low payroll.

“But once that draft choice goes away [for Keuchel and Kimbrel], both terrific pitchers, I think Tampa Bay and other teams will be looking seriously at both pitchers.”

While the Rays might be a player in the Keuchel sweepstakes, there is no doubt that the Yankees will keep an eye on things. Of course, both teams would love to be able to wait until after the June 3 draft. The Houston Astros will receive a draft pick should any team sign Keuchel prior to June 3.

“And we know the Yankees are interested in Keuchel once that draft choice goes away, too,” Heyman continued. “Either of these teams could be improved and make that AL East even more interesting.”

Although both the Rays (first) and Yankees (fifth) are in the top five in the MLB in starter ERA, contending teams can never have enough starting pitching.

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