Rookie right-hander Jacob DeGrom has agreed to a five-year contract with Texas RangersThe club announced Friday evening. No financial terms were disclosed by the organization, But MLB.com’s Kennedy Landry reported the deal to be worth $185 million.
CBS Sports ranked the 34-year-old DeGrum the second best free agent available this winter.:
It reads odd given DeGrom’s stellar track record, but it may be the biggest risk-reward proposition in the class. He’s been one of the best shooters in the sport since his debut in 2014, of course, racking up two Cy Young Awards and four appearances in All-Star Games along the way. There’s no questioning his legacy, or his ability to throw a baseball so efficiently when he’s healthy — and here’s the rub: How often will he be healthy going forward? Injuries have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons, and he’s now half a year shy of turning 35. Pitchers don’t tend to stay healthier as they get older. Given how DeGrom pulled out of a one-year agreement that would have paid him $32.5 million, it’s likely he’s seeking a deal with AAV closer to the $43 million Max Scherzer earned last winter. No doubt someone will be excited for the chance to add a bonafide ace to their rotation, but they may end up experiencing buyer’s remorse if DeGrom’s body continues to not comply.
It marks the Rangers’ second consecutive off-season, following last winter’s signings of two of the best players available in Marcus Simien and Corey Seager. Texas made waves early in the winter, albeit on a small scale, by hiring three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochy as manager.
DeGrom will now be facing a rotation that has been one of the weak points in the Rangers roster. Texas, making deGrom the second addition to the starting five; They also kept Martin Perez when he accepted the offer to qualify, and the Rangers also have a number of young starters coming their way, including other top five players like Jack Leiter, Kumar Rucker and Owen White.
Rangers could conceivably run out in the following rotation come Opening Day:
- Jacob DeGrum
- Martin Perez
- John Gray
- Jake Odorezi
- Dan Dunning
The signing is sure to have a measurable impact on the upcoming winter meetings, which are set to begin on Sunday. his old team, New York Mets, likely to go after the top rookies in an effort to replace him, as well as fill in the gaps left by the departed Chris Bassett, Tagiwan Walker and Trevor Williams. Those efforts are expected to include Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon and Koday Singa, among other possible options.
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