Dallas Keuchel Houston Astros
Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros watches a fly ball hit by Steve Pearce #25 of the Boston Red Sox (not pictured) in the third inning during Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 16, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Elsa/Getty Images

As Dallas Keuchel’s free agency extends closer to the start of the 2019 MLB season, a few teams have been in touch with the best starter available. The latest report indicates that there’s still a chance the pitcher will return to the team with which he’s spent his entire career.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Houston Astros have recently spoken with Keuchel about a possible deal. This comes a day after Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported that Houston was still in the mix.

The Astros offered Keuchel a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer earlier this offseason. Starting pitcher Charlie Morton left as a free agent to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays, and Lance McCullers will miss the entire season because of Tommy John Surgery. Collin McHugh has been moved to the rotation after pitching for the Astros out of the bullpen in 2018, and Brad Peacock will likely do the same.

Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are back for Houston after performing like Cy Young candidates. Both players are set to hit free agency after this season.

The Philadelphia Phillies have been linked to Keuchel throughout the offseason. They are still in play for the left-hander, but the notion of giving him a long-term deal likely went out the window with the signing of Bryce Harper.

Keuchel is probably going to have to settle for a short-term contract at this point. He was reportedly seeking a six or seven-year deal a few months ago.