If there's one thing we've learned about the Twins, it's that they love their restoration projects. Dallas Keuchel was a late addition t the garage but he fit the bill in every single way. After a career-making stint with the Houston Astros, the former Cy Young-winner fell on hard times and ended up signing a minor league contract with Minnesota in June before getting added to the Major League roster a couple of months later.
Keuchel got off to an uneven start, but tapped back into what made him special during his third start with the Twins. He threw six perfect innings against Pittsburgh in a start that he said was the reason he wanted to work his way back to the Majors.
From there he made three more starts -- two of which the Twins won, although he didn't get credit -- while getting bullpen work the rest of the season. That might be a role he settles into if Minnesota brings him back, which given how there's still a need for pitching couldn't hurt. He's not going to be replacing Sonny Gray or might not be on a Chris Paddack path, but there was value to having Keuchel and getting him to work with the pitching coaches through Spring Training and into the season might help him continue to get back on track.
Why he might not be back: While he gave fans one great start back in August, Keuchel finished the season with a 5.97 ERA and a slightly below average strike rate. He also ended the season on the 15-day IL and was replaced by Jorge Alcala, pitcher the Twins tendered and worked out a settlement with to bring back.
If money is an issue, the Twins might do well to bring Keuchel back and see what happens. The gamble didn't exactly hit big last season but there are far worse -- and more pricey -- risks to take.