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Bruce Bochy Reacts to Jacob deGrom Signing with Rangers

The new Texas Rangers manager signed up for an improved roster, but even he had an interesting reaction to adding Jacob deGrom.

Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy knew the team had a shot to sign New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. But his reaction, according to a report, was probably the reaction of some baseball observers when the Rangers announced the move Friday.

ESPN wrote a piece about the courtship between the Rangers and deGrom, and took special note of Bochy initial thoughts when general manager Chris Young called to let him know the deal was done.

"Are you kidding me?” he exclaimed, according to the report.

The report went on to say that Bochy did have a Zoom session with deGrom during the pursuit of the free agent. Bochy’s relationship with deGrom, limited as it is, began at the 2015 All-Star Game when Bochy was the National League manager and deGrom was on the team.

In that game, deGrom struck out the side in the sixth inning.

Other interesting notes from the report included:

  • deGrom was already researching real estate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area when he zoomed with Bochy;
  • Along with the Rangers, the Mets and Atlanta Braves were deGrom’s only other serious suitors;
  • deGrom had become increasingly distant in the Mets clubhouse and preferred to focus on pitching.

deGrom is joining a team that has had six straight losing seasons, but was able to lure the top-rated pitcher on the free-agent market to Arlington. He joins a rotation with three other veteran starters over the age of 30.

Entering free agency, the New York Post listed him as their No. 2 overall free agent, after only New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge. CBS Sports and The Athletic agreed, too. Two of the three sites also agreed that the Rangers are a potential destination for the 33-year-old right-hander.

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.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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