2. Jacob deGrom
I must admit, I am one of the biggest fans on earth of Jacob deGrom. I absolutely love watching him pitch. His “stuff” has been the best in the game, in my opinion, for quite a while. He is 35 years old, suggesting there are some glory years left, and he is sure to pack the ballpark of whatever team signs him.
The problem with deGrom lies solely in his ability to stay on the field. There is no doubt in my mind that deGrom will be elite when he is pitching, but how many elite outings will the signing team receive? He is coming off back-to-back injury plagued years.
Aside from his elbow injuries, he also has endured shoulder injuries. For those that don’t know, shoulder injuries are a pitcher’s worst nightmare. He recently had a stress fracture in his shoulder just this past year.
A shining light here could be the fact that deGrom hasn’t always been injury prone prior to 2021. You could easily shake it off as being two bad years, and he is finally ready to go. FanGraphs’ Ben Clemens also projects deGrom to break Sherzer’s AAV record with a 3-year, $141 million contract.
Sinking $47 million per year into an MLB player who could potentially not be playing for long periods of time is the type of stuff that gets people fired. Giving a massive contract to a star who finally stays healthy en route to a Cy Young gets people praised. It’s a double edged sword, and I have no way of knowing which edge deGrom will lie on.
I do know that there is quite a bit of injury risk involved here, and buyers must be aware of that. I highly doubt Mets owner Steve Cohen is very concerned, but I am here to tell him that he probably should be.