The Texas Rangers have signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, landing one of the top MLB free agents with a historic deal that makes him one of the highest-paid players in MLB.
deGrom, one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in baseball, lands in Texas after receiving interest from the Rangers, New York Mets and several other clubs. Ultimately, the 34-year-old chose to leave New York to sign one of the largest contracts ever for a free-agent pitcher.
- Jacob deGrom stats (2022): 3.06 ERA, 2.13 FIP, 42.7% K rate, .173 BAA, 0.75 WHIP
The deal, first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN, includes a conditional sixth-year option that maxes out at $222 million. deGrom also receives a no-trade clause and the deal is official, after he passed his physical.
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deGrom missed significant time this past season recovering from a stress reaction in his right scapula. It came after he seemed to be healthy heading into spring training, following a 2021 season that ended prematurely due to a right UCL sprain.
While longevity is a concern for one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in baseball history, deGrom’s numbers when he is healthy are unprecedented. From 2019-’22, he posted a 2.23 ERA with a 37.1% strikeout rate, 0.85 WHIP and held opponents to a .182 batting average over 426.1 innings.
Texas was one of the most active teams in MLB free agency last winter, committing to more than $500 million in contract totals for Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Jon Gray.
Connected to many of the top free-agent pitchers this offseason, the Rangers originally seemed to believe they were unlikely to land deGrom. However, the willingness from Texas to offer deGrom a five-year contract reached a level that the Mets were seemingly uncomfortable reaching.
- Jacob deGrom contract: $37 million AAV, 5 years and $185 million
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deGrom’s $37 million salary falls well short of former teammate Max Scherzer – $43.333 million – as the highest-paid pitcher in baseball. However, the $185 million surpasses Scherzer’s deal and deGrom becomes the first pitcher over the age of 32 to sign a contract worth more than $150 million.
After losing out on deGrom, the Mets are expected to aggressively pursue either AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander or Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga. According to Passan, New York is also open to re-signing Chris Bassitt.