The Rangers got their man.
Two days before the start of the Winter Meetings, which haven’t been held since 2019 due to the pandemic and then the lockout, the Texas Rangers showed the baseball world, and Rangers fans, it was tired of being the eighty-pound weakling and having sand kicked in its face.
They made Jacob deGrom a Ranger. deGrom signed a five-year contract, with a no-trade clause.
Desperately searching for an ace, the Rangers ended up with the best pitcher in baseball. How dominating has deGrom been? In his nine seasons as a starter for the Mets, he had put up and ERA under 2.00 twice. In 2018 and 2021.
In fact, his stretch from 2018 to 2021 has to be one of the better four-year performances of all-time, putting up an ERA of 1.7, 2.43, 2.38, and 1.08.
He was Rookie of the Year in 2014. National League Cy Young Award winner in 2018 and 2019. A four-time All-Star. He lead the N.L. in strikeouts in 2019 and 20202.
And now he’s a Ranger.
This signing doesn’t come without risk. deGrom has been injured the last two years, starting only twenty-six total games in 2021 and 2022. He’s also thirty-four. But risk, and $188 million over five years, is the price a team has to pay when it is unable to make its own pitching.
Think of it as the Jon Daniels tax.
Yes, deGrom has missed time with injury. But when he is healthy, he’s the best pitcher in baseball.
And now he’s a Ranger. And that is a glorious thing.