The Texas Rangers had quite the off-season as they continued to do what they did last off-season, which is, to show everyone they mean business. They are showing everyone that they are tired of being a below-average team, and are ready to compete.
One move they made before heading into 2023, blew most people away. And it should have, I mean no one saw it coming. Outside of Rangers fans, who really said that this off-season they would be getting the best pitcher in baseball when healthy? The answer is no one.
The rotation already had promise, then you add the moves they made and it’s just putting the cherry on top. The Rangers still aren’t World Series contenders, at least in my opinion, but they are definitely getting closer. A huge reason why is because of the addition of Jacob deGrom, the former ace for the New York Mets.
Oh, and did I forget to mention he has won the Cy Young Award twice before in his career? Which, by the way, is one award away from being tied for the fifth most Cy Young Awards in MLB history. Who’s to say he won’t get that this season? Someone sure thinks he has a chance.
The Caesars Sportsbook in Las Vegas gives deGrom very high odds to finish as the AL Cy Young winner. In fact, he has the highest odds, tied with Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, who both sit at +600 to win the award.
Las Vegas seems to think deGrom can compete at that elite level that he is at when he is healthy, and they aren't the only ones.
But that's just the thing, right? He has to stay healthy. And, even before spring training starts, deGrom has already dealt with something.
Per Levi Weaver of The Athletic, "Jacob deGrom felt some tightness in his left side, and — given the cold weather and how early it is in camp, we’re told — they’re going to hold him back a day or two. We’re told the seriousness level is such that he would play through it if it were the regular season."
But, general manager Chris Young doesn't seem to be too worried about the precautionary action.
“I don’t think it’s about him," Young said recently. "We’d do the same with any pitcher or any player that comes in with — if this were a little hamstring tightness today, or anything else, we would treat it the same way. It’s cold, it’s wet. His throwing has been great. I think he’s six bullpens in, he feels great … but we’re playing for March 31 and the big picture here.”
There is a lot of optimism around the Rangers fan base that he can be the best pitcher in the league again. deGrom is a guy who has earned that type of respect, now he just needs to put it all together.