Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy,

The Red Sox trail the Yankees by 8 1/2 games in the American League East, and it sounds like the division leaders could add some major firepower to their starting rotation.

According to MLB Network insider and reporter Mark Feinsand, the Yankees and Atlanta Braves have emerged as the favorites to land former Cy Young award-winner Dallas Keuchel.

Keuchel is no longer attached to draft pick compensation, a major obstacle he has faced in his pursuit of a long-term contract. Until Monday, teams that signed Keuchel would have had to surrender a top pick to bring the lefty in because he rejected the one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Houston Astros in November.

Former Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has faced the same challenges in searching for his new home.

According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Twins have also expressed interest in Keuchel. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman has also suggested the St. Louis Cardinals could be in on the lefty.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.