Everyone knew Jacob deGrom was going to get the bag, but no one thought he’d make out as well as he did Friday night. The most talented pitcher on the planet got a guaranteed deal for $185 million over five years ($37M AAV) with a conditional 2028 option that could take it to $222 million. While it’s not an AAV record, the length and total value are both well over predictions.
The Mets, who were telling people internally they believed deGrom wanted to return to New York, reportedly didn’t even get a chance to make a final offer. They likely would have needed to blow the Rangers out of the water, what with the much lower cost of living and lack of state income tax in Texas, not to mention the abundance of land deGrom reportedly wanted to have.
Good on the Rangers for saying eff it and just throwing money around to bring in top talent. They pushed half a billion into the middle of the table for Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last year and now have deGrom, and they may still look to spend more yet this winter.
That’s good news for Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodón, the latter of whom might now be able to set his floor at six years. It’s also great for the next tier of starting pitchers, who may now be able to command a lot more money as their relative value increases. The Cubs, however, are going to have a tougher time reconciling their desire to spend intelligently with their need to get better in a hurry.
We looked at that situation with Jameson Taillon in particular, as he’s a reported Cubs target who is expected to exceed initial projections of four years and $56 million. I don’t know if Jed Hoyer has already begun pumping ownership for a budget increase, but he’s going to need to get aggressive if the hot stove continues to burn like this.