deGrom sees vision for Rangers’ future, not loss-heavy past – 104.5 WOKV

deGrom sees vision for Rangers’ future, not loss-heavy past – 104.5 WOKV

ARLINGTON, Texas – (AP) – Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom sees the vision of what the Texas Rangers want to do, not their six-game losing streak and more than a decade out of the their only World Series appearances. .

“The Rangers did a great job with constant communication and made me feel like they really wanted me here,” deGrom said Thursday during his introduction in Texas. “The vision was the same, to build something great and win year after year.”

deGrom is the latest financial addition: $185 million, five-year contract, for the Rangers as they try to turn things around. They caught DeGrom last Friday before the start of baseball’s winter meetings. After completing his physical and contract in Texas, he was even able to make it to a pre-planned Christmas getaway with his wife and two young children to Disney World, which is where he was when it was announced his signing with Texas last week.

The 34-year-old right-hander spent the first nine years of his career with the New York Mets, who won 101 games last season. His arrival comes one offseason after the Rangers made long-term commitments to center fielders Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and Marcus Semien ($175 million, 7 years) and then it went 68-94.

deGrom said Seager and Semien played a big role in his decision, and that while he had been in contact with the Mets, he was excited about Texas after his talks with the Rangers, including new manager and three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochygeneral manager Chris Young and owner Ray Davis.

“They showed a lot of interest early on and the feelings were mutual,” deGrom said. “I want to play this game for a long time and I want to win.”

Young said the addition of deGrom is a big step toward the Rangers’ goal of building a world championship organization, and that the full expectation next season is to compete for a playoff spot.

“I am ecstatic. To win in our game, you have to pitch,” said Bochy, who was seated to deGrom’s left. “We couldn’t have a better guy to lead this rotation. We added to the rotation. So don’t tell me we can’t win. … We’re a much better club right now than we were just a few weeks ago.”

deGrom joins a Rangers rotation that also includes Jon Gray, the right-hander whose four-year, $56 million contract last winter was eclipsed by Seager and Semien. All-Star lefty Martín Perez accepted a qualifying offer of $19.65 million this offseason to stay in Texas, and the Rangers acquired former All-Star right-hander Jake Odorizzi from Atlanta in a trade last month.

Before missing the final three months of the 2021 season with a strained right forearm and a sprained elbow, deGrom had a season-low 1.08 ERA in 92 innings. He was then shut down late in spring training this year due to a stress reaction in his right scapula and didn’t make his first major league start until August 2nd.

He went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 starts, then opted into a $30.5 million deal through 2023 to become a first-time free agent.

“It was a weird injury last year, but he finished the year strong and the goal is to go out there and get the ball every fifth day for the Texas Rangers,” he said.

Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister was one of the doctors who reviewed deGrom’s injury last season, as he has experience with this type of injury, but he did not personally examine it. Meister told deGrom he would make a full recovery, and the pitcher said he felt great when he returned.

Now he’s set for another full season after just 38 starts the last three seasons.

“The goal is to make more than 30 starts and I really think I can do that,” he said.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 career innings. He will receive $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 no money guaranteed.


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