The Yankees are considered one of the frontrunners to land free-agent LHP Dallas Keuchel once they won't need to forfeit a draft pick or international bonus pool money, and there's one sign that bodes well for New York.
Keuchel is reportedly willing to adhere to the Yankees' clean-shaven policy and get rid of his sigature beard should he join them, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman.
Though still a free agent, Keuchel is expected to sign with a team in the coming days. Because he rejected the Astros' $17.9 million qualifying offer, a team would need to forfeit its first-round pick or give up slot money as compensation for Keuchel.
However, given the MLB draft begins Monday, he will no longer be tied to any compensation. Talks between him and other teams could progress quickly as well.
The Yankees have scouted Keuchel over the past few weeks, however they are not the only team interested. The Braves, Cardinals, Brewers, Twins and Rays are among the other teams in pursuit, according to Heyman.
Though the Yankees activated CC Sabathia and James Paxton off the injured list from respective injuries this past week and are expecting Luis Severino to return after the All-Star break, signing Keuchel wouldn't preclude them from pursuing other starters on the trade market. Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer and Zack Wheeler are among the other players the Yankees could be linked to.
Keuchel, 31, had reportedly turned down "numerous" offers, seeking to find a contract that represents his value. Last season, he went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 34 starts, throwing 153 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings.