Rangers agree to 5-year, $185M contract with Jacob deGrom

Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom Sources told ESPN he agreed to a five-year, $185 million deal with the Texas Rangers, bringing the most talented pitcher in baseball to a pitching-starved organization that is making massive free-agent investments for the second straight offseason.

The Rangers announced the deal Friday night, but did not disclose terms.

DeGrom, 34, who spent all nine seasons of his major league career with the New York Mets, opted out of the final two years of his contract in 2022 despite throwing just 64⅓ innings. He missed the first four months. He had a season of stress on his shoulder, and injuries limited him to 224⅓ innings over the last three seasons.

Texas moved past those issues and saw the potential for DeGrom to be a transformative figure in the organization. He shattered industry-wide expectations of a short-term deal with a five-year package that sources said included a sixth-year option to bring the contract’s total value to $222 million.

The signing comes after a stellar year for the Rangers shortstop Corey Seager Signed a 10-year, $325 million contract and second baseman Marcus Semien Seven years and $175 million. Also John GrayThe four-year, $56 million contract is the Rangers’ biggest spender through the 2021-22 season.

The spending continues so far, bringing in DeGrom with his biggest contract through the 2022-23 offseason. The deal includes no deferred money and provides DeGrom with a full no-trade clause, sources said. Between that and the absence of a state tax in Texas, contending teams would have to extend the length of the concession to compete with the Rangers, exceeding $40 million a year.

In DeGrom, the Rangers got a right-hander with the best pitches among starters: a 100-mph-plus fastball he throws with exquisite command, a hard slider that sits in the mid-90s, and a changeup. And the curveball will be an elite pitch for others but complement DeGrom’s fastball-slider duo.

DeGrom finished the 2022 season with a 5-4 record and a 3.08 ERA in 11 starts, though his output best illustrated his dominance: 102 strikeouts against just eight walks, along with nine home runs allowed.

His performances over the previous four seasons continued, winning both of his Cy Youngs and elevating himself from a former ninth-round pick out of Stetson University — where he played shortstop — to a highly unlikely position. jug in the world.

He didn’t make his debut with the Mets until a month before he turned 26, and with Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler And Steven Matz Among the Mets’ young starters, deGrom isn’t considered a future star.

By the end of his first season, when he posted a 2.69 ERA over 140⅓ innings, expectations grew. DeGrom made the National League All-Star team in his second season and received Cy Young votes in his fourth year before leaving in 2018 as a 30-year-old. Over 217 innings, DeGrom has struck out 269 hitters, walked 46, and allowed a hit. Recorded 10 home runs and a 1.70 ERA en route to his first Cy Young.

He earned back-to-back honors in 2019 with a 2.43 ERA over 204 innings with 255 strikeouts. That spring, he signed a five-year contract extension that included opting out after the 2022 season.

After throwing 68 innings in the Covid-shortened 2020 season, deGrom reached his peak in 2021, posting a 1.08 ERA with 146 strikeouts and 11 walks in 92 innings in 15 starts. But he missed more than half the season with hand problems and the first half of the 2022 season, leading some to wonder if he would opt out of the final two years of his contract.

He did – and with good reason. Despite fears about his age and health, the market for DiGrom remained strong. A year ago, the Mets signed the future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer A three-year, $130 million deal, even though he’s 37 years old.

While DeGrom doesn’t match Scherzer’s average annual value, $37 million per year is the previous number. 2, more than the New York Yankees ace Gerrit ColeAnd, with no postponements and taxes, it’s closer to Scherzer’s number than the paper gap.

Rangers’ willingness to go to that level stunned the industry. Texas — ranked 25th out of 30 teams this year — signaled its intent to acquire the best pitcher on the market by giving it a fifth season.

Dichrome, with gray, Martin Perez And Jake OdorizziAlong with the young big leaguers Dan Dunning And Glen Otto And chances are Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter et al Owen WhiteRangers are suddenly in a better position.

The competition in the American League West will not be easy. At the top of the division, World Series champion Houston signed the first baseman Jose Abreu and reliever Rafael MonteroAnd the Seattle Mariners, who won the wild card behind the Astros this season, added an outfielder. Dioscar Hernandez and second baseman Golden Wong in trade.

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