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Rangers' Updated Rotation, Payroll After Jacob deGrom Contract

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 3, 2022

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Texas Rangers have signed former New York Mets ace pitcher Jacob deGrom to a five-year, $185 million contract, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner now leads a rotation that includes Jon Gray, Martín Pérez, Jake Odorizzi and Dane Dunning, per FanGraphs, which also projects Texas for a $177 million payroll in 2023 (ninth in MLB).

Texas has a top-heavy payroll with deGrom, shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien leading the way. Texas signed Seager to a 10-year, $325 million contract, and Semien inked a seven-season, $175 million deal.

The Rangers struggled last year despite the addition of their two middle infielders, finishing fourth in the American League West with a 68-94 record.

Texas struggled offensively (ninth in the AL in OPS) and on the mound (12th in the AL in ERA). DeGrom should at least serve as the bona fide ace of a rotation that looks solid on paper, especially after the Rangers traded for Odorizzi to strengthen the back end.

The four-time All-Star has played his entire nine-year career with the Mets, going 82-57 with a 2.52 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 10.9 K/9 rate.

When healthy, he's been the best pitcher in baseball of late. Unfortunately, injuries kept him out for large chunks of the season in 2021 (elbow, forearm ailments) and 2022 (stress reaction on his right scapula). He made only 27 starts over the past two years.

That, in turn, presents a big risk for the Rangers as they look to return to relevance. However, a healthy deGrom could dominate the American League and significantly strengthen a rotation in need of help.