This summer, The Texas Rangers made a few changes. When it came to enhancing the club, Texas had one major objective in mind: pitching, pitching, and more pitching.
Martin Perez, a southpaw, was re-signed by the Rangers using the qualifying offer. With the Rangers in 2022, the seasoned left-hander experienced a comeback, pitching to a 2.89 ERA and a career-high 169 strikeouts.
Texas also signed Andrew Heaney and Nathan Eovaldi to two-year contracts. A team looking to contend in 2023 will benefit from the steadiness both pitchers bring to the middle of the rotation.
The huge fish is the next thing. Jacob deGrom, a former ace for the New York Mets, inked a five-year, $185 million deal with the Rangers. Future Hall of Famer deGrom is expected to dominate the top of the rotation for the foreseeable future.
Which of these actions poses the most risk to the AL West team? Which decision involves the greatest risk? Here is our selection for the Texas Rangers’ riskiest off-season MLB transaction.
Texas Ranger’s Riskiest Move: Jacob De Grom
Undoubtedly, few people are surprised by this. Given his roughly $20 million salary in 2023, Martin Perez’s move is the only one that could be as risky as this one. However, the fact that the contract is for one year greatly reduces the danger.
DeGrom faces significant danger for a number of reasons. The former Mets ace is 34 years old, so that’s the first factor. Given his age and the five-year duration of this contract, he will play into his 40th season, barring a club option.
His history of injuries may go hand in hand with his age. Since 2019, deGrom has not pitched an entire MLB season. He sustained a partial UCL tear in 2021, ending his season without the need for surgery.
He missed time in 2022 due to a shoulder issue. Even though the Mets didn’t win their division, he came back in the middle of the season and did assist them to push for the playoffs.
The new Rangers ace has an intriguing forecast according to FanGraphs’ ZiPS system. They anticipate that deGrom will pitch 550 innings over the course of the contract. And injuries are included in that number.
And certainly, it is clear to everyone why the Rangers are taking this chance. There is no better pitcher in baseball than Jacob deGrom when he is healthy.
DeGrom threw a total of 1101.2 innings from 2014 to 2019 with a 2.62 ERA and 1255 strikeouts. He was outstanding even during an injury-shortened 2021 season. He pitched 92 innings with a 1.08 ERA and 149 strikeouts.
When healthy, deGrom is without a doubt one of baseball’s best pitchers. But here’s the catch. DeGrom’s health, can it last? If so, would he be able to uphold the high standard he set in New York over the course of an entire season?
Is deGrom a wiser investment than, let’s say, Justin Verlander? At the Winter Meetings, Verlander agreed to join the Mets as deGrom’s successor.
Even though Verlander pitched in 2022 despite missing practically two full seasons, he has a better history with his health. Furthermore, Verlander was unquestionably unbeatable in 2022.
The new Mets ace won the AL Cy Young award with a brilliant 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts. Later, he helped the Houston Astros win the World Series.
The injury danger clearly doesn’t bother the Rangers. But just because they don’t care doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Additionally, given the $185 million price tag, they should constantly be thinking about the risk. even when the payoff is too great to refuse.