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Bruce Bochy on Rangers Signing Jacob deGrom: ‘We Mean Business’

New Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy made his first public comments about the Jacob deGrom signing on Monday.

Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy spoke publicly for the first time Monday about signing former New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom during the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

ESPN wrote a piece about the courtship between the Rangers and deGrom on Sunday and took special note of Bochy’s reaction when general manager Chris Young called to let him know the deal was done.

That reaction was "Are you kidding me?” according to the report.

Bochy’s reaction on Monday was much more definitive about what it means to the Rangers in 2023 and beyond.

“We mean business right now,” Bochy said.

deGrom signed a $185 million over five years, with a sixth-year option last week. He comes with some risk.

deGrom has made 15 starts or fewer in each of the three seasons — 12 in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, 15 in 2021 and 11 in 2022. He was still an All-Star in 2021. Elbow inflammation ended his 2021 shortly after the All-Star Break, while a stress reaction in his right scapula delayed his 2022 debut to August. He ended up going 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA.

Before that deGrom was durable, winning two straight Cy Young awards in 2018 and 2019. He led the National League in ERA at 1.70 in 2018 and led the NL in strikeouts with 2055 in 2019 and 104 in 2020. He was also the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year.

Bochy coached deGrom in the 2015 All-Star Game and they had a Zoom session right before Thanksgiving. But the marriage happened quickly. Bochy said that Young told him on Thursday that deGrom had serious interest. The deal was done the next day.

“I couldn't have been more thrilled, more excited that we were able to bring him here,” Bochy said. “And I'm thankful — first of all, to Jacob for coming to Texas, but also for C.Y., ownership, (to) step up the way they did to get a guy that was very much a need for us, a guy that's going to head up this rotation. You're talking one of the best pitchers in the game.

“For him to be leading the way was a big need for us. And it makes our club so much better when you get a player like this. And so I couldn't have been happier.”

As for the rest of the Winter Meetings, Bochy echoed what Young told the media after deGrom’s signing, that more moves are ahead.

“What else do we think we need?” Bochy said. “We're still looking to do some things to even make us better. I think you've heard maybe another bat. If it makes sense out there somewhere. Even on the pitching side. So it's not like we're done. So I think those are our priorities right now.”

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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