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DeGrom sees the Rangers’ vision of the future, not a past filled with losses


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom sees the vision of what the Texas Rangers want to do, not their streak of six consecutive losing seasons and being more than a decade away from their only goals. World Series appearances.

“The Rangers did a great job with constant communication and making me feel like they really wanted me here,” deGrom said Thursday during his appearance in Texas. “The vision was the same, build something great and win year after year. ”

deGrom is the latest big-money addition: $185 million, five-year contract, to the Rangers while trying to change things. They caught deGrom last Friday before baseball’s winter meetings began. After completing his physical and contract in Texas, he was even able to attend a pre-planned Christmas outing with his wife and his two young children to Disney World, which is where he was when his signing was announced. with Texas last week.

The 34-year-old right-hander spent the first nine years of his career with the New York Mets, who won 101 games last season. His arrival comes an offseason after the Rangers made long-term commitments to center infielders Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and Marcus Semien ($175 million, 7 years) and then it was 68-94.

deGrom said Seager and Semien played a big role in his decision and that although he had been in contact with the Mets, he was excited about Texas after his talks with the Rangers, even new manager and three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochygeneral manager Chris Young and owner Ray Davis.

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“They were very interested from the beginning and the feelings were mutual,” deGrom said. “I want to play this game for a long time and I want to win.”

Young said the addition of deGrom is a big step toward the Rangers’ goal of building a world championship organization, and the full expectation next season is to compete for a playoff spot.

“I am ecstatic. To win in our game, you need to shoot,” said Bochy, who was sitting to deGrom’s left. “We couldn’t have a better guy to head up this rotation. We have added to the rotation. So don’t tell me we can’t win. … We are a much better club now than a few weeks ago”.

Before having to miss the final three months of the 2021 season with a strained right forearm and a sprained elbow, deGrom posted a career-low 1.08 ERA in 92 innings. He was then suspended at the end of spring training this year due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade and didn’t make his first major league start until Aug. 2.

He went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 starts, then opted out of a $30.5 million contract for 2023 to become a first-time free agent.

“Last year was a freak injury, but I finished the year strong and the goal is to go out there and get the ball every five days for the Texas Rangers,” he said.

Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister was one of the doctors who reviewed deGrom’s injury last season, having experience with that type of injury, but did not examine him personally. Meister told deGrom that he would be fully healed and the pitcher said that he felt great when he came back.

Now he’s ready for another full season after just 38 starts in the last three seasons.

“The goal is to make 30+ starts and I really think I’ll be able to do that,” he said.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 career innings. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026, and $37 million in 2027. The agreement includes a conditional option for 2028 no guaranteed money.

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