The Dodgers are looking for starting pitching this offseason, whether that’s bringing back Clayton Kershaw and/or Tyler Anderson, going outside the organization, or both. If they decide to make a splash in free agency, one potential target would be Jacob deGrom, who has been the best pitcher in baseball over the last several years when he’s healthy, which isn’t very often.
Earlier this week, deGrom opted out of his contract with the Mets, choosing to become a free agent for the first time. And as MLB insider Jon Heyman notes in the New York Post, deGrom has let the Texas Rangers, last winter’s big spenders, know he’s interested in playing for them.
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Jacob deGrom has let the Rangers know he is interested in them (as well as presumably the Mets and perhaps others), but Carlos Rodon may be a better fit for Texas ultimately.
The Rangers likely are still a year or two away from contending, and Rodon at 30 may work better than deGrom at 34. Rodon will have a bigger market — since deGrom is expected to seek $40 million plus, which will limit his field. Texas is expected to pursue all the best starters, and will likely sign multiple starters even after acquiring Jake Odorizzi in trade. Rangers baseball president Chris Young suggested they are considering all viable starters, including the top guys.
DeGrom’s age will never stop being surprising. The flamethrowing righty is just three months younger than Clayton Kershaw, even though deGrom won the Rookie of the Year Award in Kershaw’s seventh season, the year Kersh won his third Cy Young Award. But deGrom has aged differently than Kershaw, throwing harder as he gets older. They have just four things in common: they’re both 34, they’re both excellent pitchers, they both spend more than their fair share of time on the injured list, and they’d both look great in Dodger blue next year.
It makes sense that deGrom would be interested in the Rangers, who have shown a willingness to throw money around. He’s a top free agent, and top free agents always seem to be interested in the top money-spending teams. Funny how that works.
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