How was your week

Posted: December 4, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Baseball’s winter meetings are getting ready to start and in general there is always some big news that comes out of those meetings. In some cases, it’s a big trade or in other cases it’s a huge free agent signing. Well before the winter meetings get started the Texas Rangers started things off early by making a big free agent signing.

On Thursday the Rangers came to a contract agreement with free agent pitcher Jacob deGroom. The deal is for five years, and $185 million dollars and all of that money is guaranteed. deGroom’s deal also includes a sixth-year option that would bring the total dollar amount of the contract to $222 million dollars.

Now the option year of deGroom’s contract has some interesting clauses in it. The 2028 conditional option is worth at least $20 million dollars, but that number jumps to $30 million dollars if deGrom pitches at least 625 innings during the life of the contract or finishes in the top five in Cy Young voting.  Should he pitch at least 725 innings and record at least three top-five Cy Young finishes, the option will be worth $37million dollars.  If deGrom doesn’t meet these specifications in 2023-26, the option can still be worth $37million dollars in 2028 if he pitches 160 plus innings in 2027, has a top-five Cy Young voting finish, and is judged by an independent doctor to be healthy heading into 2028.

deGroom won the Cy Young award in back-to-back seasons 2018 and 2019 but has made just 38 starts over the past three seasons because of injuries. Obviously a healthy deGroom is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball.

There was a lot of talk that the Rangers were looking at add a big starting pitcher to their rotation and they landed the one that could be considered the best starting pitcher on the free agent market.

deGroom will lead a Rangers rotation and as of right now should have Jon Gray, Martin Perez, Jake Odorizzi and Dane Dunning following him.

Gray was last season’s big off season pitching signing and he was solid. Gray went 7-7 with an ERA of 3.96 in 24 starts. Perez was also signed as a free agent and had a breakout year for the Rangers. Perez made 32 starts going 12-8 with an ERA of 2.89. Odorizzi was recently acquired from the Atlanta Braves and brings another veteran presence to the starting rotation, but the Rangers will need more out of him than he showed last season. Odorizzi made 22 starts last season and went 6-6, but his ERA was 4.40. At 27 years old Dunning would be the youngest member of the Rangers rotation. Dunning made 29 starts for Texas last season and went 4-8 with an ERA of 4.46.

While that’s what the Rangers starting rotation would probably look like to start the 2023 season don’t forget that Texas has a couple of big-time pitching prospects in their minor league system that should be in the starting rotation while deGroom is still under contract with them.

Jack Leiter was the 2nd pick of the 2021 draft and is expected to pitch at the Double AA level this season. The Rangers also took a chance and selected Kumar Rocker in the 1st round of last year’s draft with the 3rd pick.

Rocker was originally drafted be the New York Mets in the 1st round of the 2021 draft, but the two sides couldn’t come to a contract agreement because the Mets had some injury concerns about Rocker. It’s expected that Rocker will pitch in Class-A ball after doing some pitching in the Arizona Fall League.

The Rangers starting rotation could be quite interesting down the road if Leiter and Rocker could join deGroom in it. Of course, we know how prospects go, so will have to wait and see on those two pitchers.

It’s possible that there might be another interesting player on the move this off season as it’s been reported that Bryan Reynolds has asked the Pittsburgh Pirates to trade him.

Reynolds has been long sought after by other teams and since he still has two years of arbitration left, he’d probably bring back quite a haul if the Pirates actually decide to deal him.

Pittsburgh offered Reynolds a deal that would’ve made him the highest paid Pirates player in history by total dollar figure, but it was mentioned that the two sides hit an “impasse” causing Reynolds to ask for a trade.

Pittsburgh has said that they have no plans of trading Reynolds as he’s signed for the 2022 season and then has those two years of arbitration after that. Will have to see how this plays out, but with the Pirates history you’d have to figure that somewhere down the road Reynolds will be traded.

So, jump in here and let me know what you think. Will deGroom be worth the money that the Rangers are paying him? How much closer do you think this gets them to catching the Houston Astros and the other teams ahead of them in the American League West?

I’d also like to know your take on the situation with the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds. How much longer do you see him being with Pittsburgh?

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter, I’m @Burketime.

  1. I look for Reynolds to be traded before the start of the 2023 season. (Are you listening, Chicago Cubs??)
    As for the Rangers big move, I really can’t understand it. Texas wound up in 4th place 26 games below .500. DeGroom may be a great pitcher but I can’t see him picking up all that slack. They might have a decent rotation now, but they have a myriad number of weaknesses in their starting lineup. Maybe this will get them ahead of the Angels in 3rd place next season but certainly not the playoffs. And I’m not even sure that will happen.


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