The Texas Rangers really got the Winter Meetings off to a hot start as they signed MLB superstar Jacob deGrom to a five-year deal. When deGrom is healthy, he is a force to be reckoned with on the mound.
There is one question surrounding the deGrom signing that some Rangers fans are asking. That question is where do Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker fit into the rotation in a couple of years? Let’s take a look at that question down below.
Texas Rangers Jacob deGrom signing: Background on Leiter and Rocker
For those who are new to the team, Leiter and Rocker are two of our top pitching prospects in the organization. Leiter was drafted in the 2021 MLB draft second overall by the Rangers. Rocker was drafted by the Rangers with the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft. They were a pitching duo at Vanderbilt that no one wanted to go up against in the SEC.
Texas Rangers Jacob deGrom signing: Where Rocker and Leiter stand after signing
The Jacob deGrom signing can only mean two things for Leiter and Rocker: They get some more time to develop in the minors or they will be traded. After the pitching that the Rangers signed at the Winter Meetings, there isn’t a spot for them in the starting rotation right now. The Andrew Heaney signing gives both of them a couple more years to show the organization they belong with the team.
The other thing that it could mean is the Rangers are looking at trading Leiter for more pitching depth right now. Rocker can’t be traded for a year since we just drafted him. Leiter didn’t have a good first season with the Frisco Roughriders finishing with a 5.54 ERA. The Rangers could go out and flip him and a couple more prospects for an established pitcher like Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff.
Texas Rangers Jacob deGrom signing: Conclusion
The Rangers are a lot better right now in the pitching department with the DeGrom and Heaney signings. It gives both Leiter and Rocker a couple more years that they deserve a spot in the starting rotation.
However, if the Rangers are in a “win now mode” as Chris Young said. Both of them could be traded eventually for top-tier pitching talent to win a World Series now rather than later. Let’s see where both pitchers end up in the minor leagues in the 2023 season.