Jacob DeGrom leaves the Mets, signs with the Rangers in free agency; Five-year deal worth $185 million

Right-handed forward Jacob DeGroom has agreed to a five-year contract with the Texas Rangers, the club announced Friday night. No financial terms were disclosed by the organization, But MLB.com’s Kennedy Landry reported the deal to be worth $185 million.

DeGrom, 34, was ranked by CBS Sports as the second best free agent available this winter. This is what we wrote at the time:

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.

“We are thrilled that Jacob DeGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” Chris Young, executive vice president and general manager of the Rangers, said in a press release. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a major league player, giving us a dominant performance at the top of the rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen starting, and we’re adding one of the best. I also want to commend our ownership group, led by Ray Davis, for continuing to provide the resources to build a winning culture here in Arlington. On behalf of the entire organization, I welcome Jacob, his wife Stacey, and the entire deGroom family to the Rangers.”

DeGrom will now be facing a rotation that has been one of the weak points in the Rangers roster. Texas Acquired Jake Odorizzi from the Atlanta Braves in early November, 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:

  1. Jacob DeGrum
  2. Martin Perez
  3. John Gray
  4. Jake Odorezi
  5. Dan Dunning

The signing is sure to have a measurable impact on the upcoming winter meetings, which are set to begin this Sunday. His old team, the New York Mets, will likely go after the top rookies in an effort to replace him, as well as fill in the gaps left by departing Chris Bassett, Tajuan 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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