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Jacob deGrom bolts Mets for Texas Rangers in 5-year, $185 million deal – The Denver Post

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The Mets’ worst nightmare of the offseason came true Friday night when Jacob deGrom rejected the Mets in favor of the Texas Rangers.

The right-hander signed a five-year contract with Texas just 48 hours from the start of winter games in San Diego. The Rangers did not disclose financial terms, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan has a figure of $185 million over five years and $222 million with a conditional option for a sixth year and full trade protection.

It’s a devastating blow for the team that drafted him from Stetson University in the ninth round of the 2010 draft. The Mets found the converted shortstop and helped him become one of the best launchers in the world.

In a way, deGrom was a beacon of hope for Mets fans. After the 2015 World Series, the Mets fell in the standings and missed the playoffs every year from 2017 to 2021. The pitchers they built the team around also fell around deGrom and the vaunted “five aces” rotation. never ended up launching the Mets into the playoffs.

DeGrom was the only remaining pitcher in that rotation, and he briefly extended the Mets’ season this fall with a daring performance in Game 2 of the NL wildcard series against the San Diego Padres.

For a time, he lived up to the hopes and the hype, even if the rest of the team didn’t. He was named NL Rookie of the Year in 2014 and won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019. His 10 wins in 2018 were the fewest by a Cy Young Award-winning starting pitcher in the NL. ‘story. A four-time All-Star who received MVP votes in 2017 and 2018, he became one of the most prolific pitchers of a generation.

But then the injuries came and we wondered if he wanted to start or not. He missed time in 2020 and a lot of time in 2021 and 2022. Earlier in his career, he had Tommy John surgery and Ulnar Nerve Transposition surgery. Many wondered if he was done, but each time he returned to the pitch, he proved to be one of the best to do so.

Despite being 34 years old, he has still managed to increase his speed almost every year since 2018. His fastball often hits triple digits and he throws a devastating slider in the 90s. Even in addition to owning some of the things most unpleasant in baseball, he has a throwing sense that cannot be taught.

He concludes a nine-year career with the Mets with an 82-57 record, 2.52 ERA and 2.62 FIP.

DeGrom announced its intention to opt out of the remaining years of its contract last spring. He didn’t discuss his decision, and he declined to discuss free agency after the season ended.

Rangers emerged as a contender early in the process. The club signed three-time World Series winner Bruce Bochy in October and promised him to continue to be aggressive in the pursuit of rebuilding. Last winter, the club committed more than half a billion dollars for Corey Seager, Marcus Semiem and Jon Gray.

Pitching was an obvious weakness for Rangers and they have now addressed it in depth.

The Mets would never go deeper into the process with him and his representatives.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout pitcher in the Major League, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our main goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitcher. , and we add one of the best.

A source told the Daily News that the Mets had discussed a three-year deal. A five-year deal for a 34-year-old who hasn’t kicked off a full major league season since 2019 comes with significant risk, but if he wins Rangers a World Series, it will be worth it.

Now the Mets need to figure out how to rebuild almost their entire rotation with his ace. There are high profile options in the free agent market, like Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon. The Mets will now have to act as aggressively as the Rangers in order to build a winning rotation behind Max Scherzer.

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