The American League West division became a lot more challenging on Friday as the Texas Rangers announced they agreed to terms with free agent right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom on a five-year contract covering the 2023-27 seasons.
No financial terms were disclosed, although it was reported by multiple sources that deGrom will make $37 million annually over the deal for a total of $185 million, and it includes an option for a sixth year.
“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout Major League pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this off-season is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”
The 34-year-old went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 64.1 innings over 11 starts for the New York Mets in 2022, returning to the mound in early August after he missed the season’s first four months with a stress reaction on his right scapula.
Beginning with his first start of the year on August 2, deGrom led MLB for the rest of the season in strikeouts (102), strikeout rate (42.7%), opponent OBP (.202), and WHIP (0.75). His ranks among MLB pitchers over the last 3 seasons since the beginning of 2020 with a minimum of 200 innings, he leads in ERA (2.05), opponents average against (.160), WHIP (0.73), strikeouts per nine innings (14.12), and walks per nine innings (1.48).
The four-time All-Star was the National League Cy Young Award winner in both 2018 and 2019, and he was also the NL Rookie of the Year in 2014. He is one of just 3 pitchers in baseball history to win multiple Cy Young Awards and a Rookie of the Year Award, along with Justin Verlander and Tom Seaver.
deGrom has made 5 career postseason starts, going 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in 31 innings for the Mets in 2015 and 2022, posting quality starts in 4 of 5 outings. He recorded the lone postseason win for the Mets last season as he registered a quality start in National League Wild Card Game 2.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark signs extension
Tony Clark joined the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) in 2010 as director of player relations after a 15-year playing career and he held that position for three years before he was unanimously voted the new executive director in December 2013.
Clark negotiated his first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on behalf of the MLBPA in 2016 and did so again during the previous lockout prior to the 2022 season. Although the previous round of talks led to the sport’s first work stoppage since the 1994-95 strike, a new deal was still reached in time to save a full 162-game season.
The players achieved several notable gains in the new CBA and Clark was rewarded with a five-year contract extension.