Now that the MLB has started the free agency, we can expect some bigger singings and trades to occur. Luckily, we were able to witness the first big free-agent splash this year with the Texas Rangers, signing Jacob DeGrom to a 5-year deal.
DeGrom is one of the more notable names in Baseball, a player who has not had a losing record as a pitcher since 2016. His career ERA is a low 2.52, one of the higher marks we have seen from active players. He is clearly elite, and his resume shows it. He has shown that his consistency and play are as safe a bet as the best online casino.
With him moving on from the Mets, the Rangers have completely flipped the pitching rotation on its head. This is the improvement that Texas needs to take a step up, and they struck gold in free agency.
Last year, the Rangers were far from good. They were near the bottom of the AL West, only ahead of the miserable Oakland Athletics. Their 68-94 record boasted one of the worst in the league, quite a disappointing statistic.
What held the team back possibly the most was the pitching room. Texas had a season ERA of 4.22, ranked 22nd in the league. They were actually very good at the plate, ranking 13th in RBIs and 12th in runs. Most impressively, they were ranked 9th in home runs.
This shows that if they pair a good defense with a serviceable offense, they should be capable of succeeding. Of course, if you’re going to pick anyone, having one of the best pitchers of the decade on your side doesn’t hurt.
DeGrom is one of the most accomplished pitchers of the 2010s and 20s ever since debuting in May of 2014. From that point forward, the league was put on its head. DeGrom had a 2.69 ERA that season in 22 games with 144 strikeouts. This was only his first season, and things would progress from there.
After a few years of being good, DeGrom turned great. In 2018, he has a 1.70 ERA in 32 games with 269 strikeouts. He then completed one of the best four-year stretches out of any pitcher in the 2000s, with an average ERA of 1.9 in 91 games and 765 strikeouts.
Throughout his career, he has racked up 4 all-star appearances, 2 NL Cy Young awards, 2 MLB First Team nods, the NL ERA leader, and a 2x NL strikeout leader. Even when not as healthy, he is incredibly productive and can impact any team.
With the biggest concern of the Rangers being the defense, it is safe to assume their biggest need has been partially addressed. Of course, being bottom 5 in fielding percentage does not help, but that is also in part to the lack of pitching talent.
The Rangers will compete. Although their division is stacked with the Astros, Mariners and Angels, we should expect them to be much closer to a .500 record. If the Angels remain to be the Angels, the Rangers can absolutely compete for a spot in the wild card.
However, the Astros and Mariners are going to stay competitive through the offseason and on opening day. The Rangers are realistically looking for a wild card battle with Seattle and possibly Los Angeles.
DeGrom is coming off of a couple of nagging injuries, not pitching more than 15 games in the last 3 seasons. However, a healthy DeGrom with less shoulder stress will tear up opposing teams, barring injury.
When healthy, DeGrom is a top 3 pitcher in baseball. Even in limited games, he has still managed a 3.08 ERA with a 5-4 record on the mound. This paired with his 102 strikeouts in only 11 games is more than enough proof of his ability. His signing to the Rangers was a win for both parties, and we should expect greatness from the new tandem.