MLB Rumors: Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers is a topic of discussion yet again in Jon Heyman’s latest piece for the New York Post, that discusses the New York Mets free agent starting pitcher, as well as New York Yankee free agent outfielder Aaron Judge.
Heyman indicates that the New York Mets’ rapid signing of free agent reliever Edwin Diaz is an indicator that Diaz was a higher priority than deGrom, who opted out of the final year of his contract to hit the free agent market. deGrom has been great while healthy, but hasn’t been healthy often over the past two years, which makes him a high-risk, high-reward prize in the free agent market.
Heyman has mentioned the Rangers as a team that could moneywhip deGrom previously, and invokes them again in this piece, where he says that there are “strong indications” the Mets aren’t going to pay deGrom more than the $43.3M AAV that they are paying Max Scherzer.
The team that might, though, per Heyman?
The Rangers, with deep pockets, were scouting deGrom late and are in desperate need of multiple big-time rotation upgrades.
deGrom won the National League Cy Young Award in both 2018 and 2019, finished third in the balloting in 2020, and finished ninth in 2021, despite throwing just 92 innings (with a 1.08 ERA and 1.24 FIP). deGrom only made 11 starts in 2022 due to various injury issues, and had a disappointing (for him) 3.08 ERA, but also put up a 2.13 FIP and a 2.24 xERA.
Per Statcast, in 2022, deGrom was in the 100th percentile in K rate, 99th percentile in walk rate, whiff percentage, and fastball velocity, 98th percentile in xERA and chase rate, and 97th percentile in fastball spin. If he’s healthy, he’s the best pitcher in baseball. If he’s not healthy, well...
I’d expect him to end up with three year deal somewhere north of Scherzer’s AAV, maybe with an opt out after year two. Whether the Rangers want to play in that ballpark, we shall see...