NEW YORK -- Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom agreed to a five-year, $185 million contract with the Texas Rangers on Friday, sources told ESPN, bringing the most talented pitcher in baseball to a pitching-starved organization that is making massive free agent investments for the second straight offseason.
The 34-year-old deGrom, who has spent all nine seasons of his major league career with the New York Mets, opted out of the final two years of his contract despite throwing just 64.1 innings in 2022. He missed the first four months of the season with a stress reaction in his shoulder, and injuries had limited him to 224.1 innings over the last three seasons.
Texas looked past those issues and to the potential for deGrom to be a transformative figure in the organization. He shattered industry-wide expectations of a shorter-term deal with the five-year package that sources said includes a sixth-year option to bring the contract's total value to $222 million.
The signing comes barely a year after the Rangers lavished shortstop Corey Seager with a 10-year, $325 million deal and signed second baseman Marcus Semien for seven years and $175 million. Along with Jon Gray's four-year, $56 million deal, the Rangers spent the most money in the 2021-22 offseason.
Bringing in deGrom with the biggest deal of the 2022-23 offseason thus far continues the spending. The contract does not include any deferred money and gives deGrom a full no-trade clause, sources said.
Between that and the lack of a state tax in Texas, competing teams would have needed to exceed the $40 million-a-year threshold and stretch the offer's length to have competed with the Rangers.
In deGrom, the Rangers secured a right-hander with the best arsenal of pitches among starters: a 100-mph-plus fastball he throws with exquisite command, a hard-biting slider that sits in the low-to-mid 90s and a changeup and curveball that would be elite pitches for others but serve as complementary to deGrom's fastball-slider duo.
DeGrom finished the 2022 season with a 5-4 record and 3.08 ERA in 11 starts, though his peripherals better illustrated his dominance: 102 strikeouts against just eight walks, with nine home runs allowed.
It continued the sort of performances he had put up over the previous four seasons, when he won both of his Cy Youngs and elevated himself from a former ninth-round pick out of Stetson University -- where he played shortstop -- to the most unhittable pitcher in the world.
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