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BREAKING: Rangers Sign Jacob deGrom

The Rangers have lured the top free-agent pitcher on the market, as Jacob deGrom arrives in Texas.

The Texas Rangers announced on Friday that they’ve agreed to terms with former New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom on a five-year contract.

In doing so, the Rangers — coming off six straight losing seasons — were able to lure the top-rated pitcher on the free-agent market to Arlington.

Texas did not announce the terms of the deal, but deGrom cleared his physical on Friday, the team announced.

The Athletic reported the terms were five years, $185 million. 

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” said Rangers executive Vice President and general manager Chris Young via release. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout Major League pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation.”

The Rangers have had conversations with several free agents, most notably Carlos Rodon and Kodai Senga. But grabbing deGrom is a coup for a team that is hoping to contend in 2023.

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 34-year-old right-hander.

The life-long Met is coming off making $35.5 million in 2022.

His Mets teammate, Max Scherzer, broke the bank last offseason, signing a three-year, $130 million contract with an average annual value of $43.3 million. The contract set a record for the largest annual average value for a pitcher. Scherzer was 37 when he signed the deal.

Meanwhile, deGrom turns 35 in June. It’s possible his deal with the Rangers could surpass Scherzer’s deal. The Post consulted an expert that proposed deGrom’s new deal could be for three years and $125 million. That would have been $41.6 million per year, just below Scherzer’s deal. 

The Athletic projected his deal at two years and $90 million, with a second-year opt-out. That would put the value at $45 million per year, which is a bit north of Scherzer.

As the newest Ranger, deGrom joins three veteran starters under contract for 2023 — Martín Pérez, Jon Gray and Jake Odorizzi.

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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