On Friday night the Texas Rangers signed superstar starting pitcher Jacob deGrom. There is no question deGrom has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball over his nine years with the New York Mets. His time with the Mets came to a close after a 2022 season full of injury issues. In free agency, he has attracted an enormous amount of attention. Just a year after spending over $500 million in the offseason the Rangers are back at it. deGrom signed a five-year $185 million deal that includes the possibility for a sixth season which could increase the total to over $220 million.
There have been some dominant pitchers in baseball over the past decade. However, a serious case could be made to say that since his arrival no pitcher has been better than Jacob deGrom.
Overall in his career, he has made 209 starts during which he went 82-57 with a 2.52 ERA in 1326 innings. His success began right away and has continued all the way to this past season. He has four seasons of 10-plus victories; six with 22-plus starts, an under 3.00 ERA and an under 1.000 WHIP; seven with 140-plus strikeouts.
He began his career about as well as possible. In 2014 he had 22 starts where he went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA, a 1.140 WHIP, 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings and 144 strikeouts in just 140.1 innings pitched.
After finishing top-10 in Cy Young voting in 2015 (seventh place) and 2017 (eighth place), he finally reached the top. In 2018 he won his first Cy Young award. In 32 starts he went 10-9 with an insane 1.70 ERA, 0.912 WHIP and 269 strikeouts in 217 innings.
He followed that up with yet another Cy Young victory in 2019. In 32 starts he went 11-8 with a 2.43 ERA, 0.971 WHIP and 255 strikeouts in 204 innings. He averaged 1.25 strikeouts per inning and 11.3 strikeouts per nine. He became just the 11th pitcher in MLB history to win back-to-back Cy Youngs.
Unfortunately, due to a shortened 2020 season and injury issues, he has only started 38 games over the last three seasons. When he did pitch though he was remarkable with a combined record of 16-8 and 224.1 innings. Over those three seasons, he averaged a 2.18 ERA, a 0.752 WHIP and 117 strikeouts. Incredibly, he struck out 352 batters which is an average of 1.6 strikeouts per inning.
It has been a remarkable career for deGrom and the Rangers are hoping he continues his success. It is a very interesting time for both sides of this deal. Jacob deGrom is 34 years old and many wonder how much longer he can stay at the top with his age and health. The Rangers on the other hand are spending money like they are growing it on trees. They are in a wild AL West where they have to find a way to compete with the Seattle Mariners and World Champion Houston Astros.
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