Jacob deGrom, Texas Rangers
Remember when your parents warned you against doing something stupid and you went ahead and did it anyway and paid the consequences? That’s the line of thought to keep in mind when assessing the Rangers’ signing of deGrom.
The Rangers gave deGrom a five-year, $185 million deal that paid him $30 million in 2023. In exchange, they got six starts and the inevitable arm injury.
They were good starts, leading to two victories and a 2.67 ERA in 30 innings. But with deGrom, the question is never quality; it’s quantity. Opposing hitters batted just .171 against him with a .200 on base average. But he only faced 114 of those opposing hitters all season. In pitching, quantity counts.
By some statistical measures, Jose LeClerc ($6.2 million) had greater value to the 2023 Rangers than deGrom. deGrom’s WAR count stopped at +0.9; his Win Probability Added stopped at 0.6. LeClerc, just to pick one, had no starts and only four saves, but he contributed 57 innings and 1.4 WAR.
Since the Rangers are on the hook to deGrom for another $155 million through 2027, perhaps he’ll deliver enough innings down the road to justify the financial outlay. But who are we kidding? Transactional grade: F