MLB Rumors: Carlos Rodon and Jacob deGrom, two of the top free agent starting pitchers on the market this offseason, could go off the board sooner rather than later, per a report from Jeff Passan. Passan writes that Rodon and deGrom are seen as “contenders to sign” by the end of the Winter Meetings, which start on Sunday.
The Texas Rangers have been prominently linked for a while to both pitchers, as we have discussed before. Passan mentions the Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles as being “[t]wo teams to keep an eye on” in regards to the pitching market, which both looking for multiple starting pitchers and casting a wide net.
Rodon is represented by Scott Boras, who oftentimes slowplays the free agent market with his top players. With Rodon being the one pitcher on the free agent market who is both still relatively young (he turns 30 in ten days) and who has performed at an ace level, it may be that the market is developing quickly, with teams shooting their best shot early on rather than waiting to see how the rest of the market develops. The Fangraphs and ESPN projections had Rodon getting five years at anywhere from $24 million to $27 million per year.
deGrom, meanwhile, is in a different boat. He is arguably the best pitcher in baseball when healthy, but has struggled to stay healthy the past two seasons. deGrom turns 35 in June, and the combination of health issues and age will likely result in him getting a short term, high-AAV deal. He’s been reported to be seeking something similar to the deal that Max Scherzer signed with the New York Mets prior to 2022, which guaranteed Scherzer $130 million over three years and included an opt-out after year two.
The Fangraphs and ESPN projections had deGrom landing at three years at anywhere from $40 to $44 million per year.