Right-handed starter Jacob deGrom has agreed to sign a five-year contract with the company Texas Rangers, the club announced Friday night. The company did not provide information on its financial situation. but MLB.com’s Kennedy Landry reports the deal is worth $185 million.
DeGrom, 34, was named the second best free agent this winter by CBS Sports.:
It’s odd given deGrom’s excellent track record, but he may be the biggest risk-reward in the class. He’s certainly been one of the best pitchers in the sport since his debut in 2014, winning two Cy Young Awards and making four All-Star appearances along the way. There’s no questioning his legacy, or his ability to throw the baseball very well when healthy — how often does he advance healthy? Injuries have limited deGrom to 26 starts over the past two seasons, and he’s now a half-year shy of turning 35. Squirrels don’t tend to stay healthy as they age. Seeing as how deGrom turned down a one-year deal that would have paid him $32.5 million, he could be looking to sign a $43 million deal with AAV. Max Scherzer received last winter. No doubt someone will look for an opportunity to add a true ace to their rotation, but deGrom’s body will likely experience buyer’s remorse if it continues to fail to follow suit.
It’s the second straight season the Rangers have made headlines after signing two of their best players last winter. Marcus Semien and Corey Seeger. Texas made small waves earlier this winter when it hired three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochy as manager.
“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” Rangers Executive Vice President and General Manager Chris Young said in a press release. “Jacob has been a top hitter in the major leagues for several seasons and he gives us a dominant player at the top of the rotation. Our focus this offseason is to strengthen our starting lineup, and we’re adding one. The best. And I look forward to seeing our ownership group led by Ray Davis. I want to thank Arlington for continuing to provide resources to build a winning culture. On behalf of the entire organization, I salute Jacob, his wife, Stacey, and the entire organization. The deGrom family is the Rangers.”
The Rangers could end up with the following rotation on opening day.
The signing is sure to have a significant impact on the Winter Meetings, which begin next Sunday. His former team New York Metswill pursue top free agents to replace him, as well as fill the void left by departing players. Chris BassittTajiuan Walker and Trevor Williams. These efforts are expected to include Justin VerlanderOther possible options include Carlos Rodon and Kodai Senga.