It’s hard to believe that Jacob deGrom is a Texas Ranger. The news that sent shockwaves throughout the baseball world Friday night is still reverberating throughout league circles.
Jacob deGrom: Texas Rangers ace. It’s impossible to overstate just how significant this signing is for the team, just as it is to comprehend what a loss this is for the New York Mets.
The Rangers went where no other club would even dare to, inking the 34-year-old oft-injured star pitcher to a five-year, $185 million contract with a sixth-year option that could bring the total value of the deal to a whopping $222 million. For a guy who’s made just 26 combined starts and thrown a mere 224.1 innings over the last two seasons, the stakes could never be higher for Texas.
Signing Jacob deGrom changes literally everything for the Texas Rangers
But the risk is well worth the potential reward, because at his best, no pitcher in the game today is better than Jacob deGrom. And the Texas Rangers know that all too well, as even just 15-20 starts per year of deGrom is better than 30 starts of below average or downright awful quality.
deGrom is the kind of talent that elevates a franchise immediately. He gives the Rangers’ staff a bona-fide ace that, quite frankly, has eluded Texas for basically their entire existence (with all due respect to Fergie Jenkins, Nolan Ryan, Kevin Brown, Cliff Lee and perhaps Cole Hamels). Furthermore, no pitcher in Rangers history has ever had the kind of all-world potential that deGrom does, to go along with the pure stuff and pinpoint command he possesses. He walks no one, and strikes out the world.
There also might not be a more consequential signing in team history. Nolan Ryan was on the back-end of his career, good as he was. Alex Rodriguez was a walking disaster and everyone knew it from the moment he signed. Adrian Beltre was awesome and helped the Rangers win the 2011 AL pennant, but even he didn’t come here with the resume of Jacob deGrom. As we might say, deGrom is just “built different”.
When you have a Jacob deGrom on your team, it changes everything. His starts are must-watch TV. The Rangers have been anything but that in recent years. His talent serves as a counterpunch to the influx of big names that have infiltrated the now uber-competitive AL West, giving Texas a stake in that fight. And perhaps most importantly: it sends a statement to the baseball world that the Rangers are finally ready to turn the corner.
Gone are the days of rebuild, of trading star players to the Yankees, of losing for Leiter and all that came with it. If you weren’t taking the Texas Rangers seriously after they were able to sign Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last off-season, you might want to now that they have the best pitcher in baseball toeing the rubber for them.