The Texas Rangers were determined to upgrade their rotation in free agency this year. They have done just that.
According to Jeff Passan from ESPN, the Rangers added arguably the top starter in free agency as they have signed Jacob deGrom. He signed a five year deal worth $185 million with an option for a sixth year at another $37 million. This deal also comes with a full no-trade clause.
Texas Rangers land haymaker in AL West battle
There is no question that deGrom immediately improves the Rangers’ pitching staff. He gives them a bona fide ace, someone that they can build the rest of the rotation around. Jon Gray and Martin Perez can slide further down in the pecking order, giving the Rangers the type of depth that they needed.
deGrom has proven that he is one of the best starters in the game. He posted a 3.08 ERA and a 0.746 WHiP in 2022, striking out 14.3 batters per nine innings with 1.1 walks per nine. The problem is that he appeared in just 11 games for a total of 64.1 innings and has just 38 appearances accounting for 224.1 innings since the start of 2020.
That is the potentially $222 million question. deGrom has battled plenty of injuries over the past three seasons, with shoulder, elbow, neck, back, forearm, and side injuries over that time. If he cannot stay healthy, this contract could be a disaster.
But there is the potential that deGrom could be a bargain. He was expected to receive a contract similar to what Max Scherzer had signed with an average annual value well above $40 million. If he can stay healthy, the Rangers have their ace locked in place for what could be the rest of his career.
Ultimately, this is a move that they had to make. The Rangers had said that they planned on shopping in the upper echelons of free agency when it came to the rotation this year, something that made sense after their splurges on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien during the 2021-22 offseason.
This may not be the end of their moves either. The Rangers could use another solid second or third starter as well. As they had been linked to the likes of Nathan Eovaldi and Kodai Senga as well, another signing to bolster the rotation could be coming. If so, the Rangers will have suddenly catapulted themselves into the divisional conversation.
The Texas Rangers have found their ace. Jacob deGrom is heading to the Lone Star State on what could be a six year deal worth $222 million.