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Friday, December 02, 2022

Jacob deGrom signs with Rangers

What a HORRIFIC contract! It’s an expensive contract that bases value on hope. The Rangers HOPE he can be healthy enough to provide them value. It’s the kind of contract that gets a GM fired.

DeGrom turns 35 next June. He pitched 64.1 innings in 2022 and 92 innings in 2021.

I expect they went five years to lower the AAV. Of course, it’s a great contract for DeGrom, especially considering he’ll pay no state tax when he pitches in Texas.

It’s a shocker for sure.

Although it might not seem like it now, the Rangers did Mets fans a favor.

The Rangers pulled off a stunner ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings, signing ace right-hander Jacob deGrom to a five-year free-agent contract on Friday night. The deal will pay deGrom $185 million, a source told MLB.com; the club has not confirmed the value of the contract.

jimfurtado Posted: December 02, 2022 at 08:43 PM | 108 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, jacob degrom, rangers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2022 at 09:15 PM (#6107670)
Somebody in Texas wants to win real bad. They might as well really go for it and offer Judge 10/$427.

$37 M would have bought a lot of AC for BDC
   2. The Duke Posted: December 02, 2022 at 09:22 PM (#6107673)
I've been saying for some time this will be a blowout free agent year that will skew $/WAR much higher. CBA is done, pandemic is done, the fans are back and tv deals are still growing.

This won't look bad in the next couple years as the market resets much higher

Rodon has to be looking at 6/7 years at 30 million now. It's a way better bet than Degrom

What this also means is the top 15 teams will move up to the cap to compete and the top 5-7 will be perpetually over.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2022 at 09:28 PM (#6107675)
That's what, $700M on FA the last two years for Texas?
   4. The Duke Posted: December 02, 2022 at 09:35 PM (#6107678)
It's a ton and FG said this signing has them now as an 84-85 win team. $700 million doesn't buy as much as it used to.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 02, 2022 at 09:51 PM (#6107680)
Wow, they showed him the long green. Not a contract I would have offered.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2022 at 09:53 PM (#6107683)
@Joelsherman1
Mets' offer to deGrom was 3 years in $120M range. Sides were in contact Thursday, but no back-and-forth Friday (today). So there was no "if you can top this" bidding. The Mets got word from deGrom camp not that much before the world found out that he was going to the Rangers.
   7. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 02, 2022 at 09:57 PM (#6107684)
Best of luck, deGrom. You were a great player for the Mets.
   8. shoelesjoe Posted: December 02, 2022 at 10:07 PM (#6107687)
Over / under on how many starts deGrom makes during that five year contract? 80? 75? Less?
   9. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 02, 2022 at 10:26 PM (#6107689)
Fewer than 75, certainly. Probably fewer than 40. He's only made 39 starts in the past three years, total, and he's 35.

If they get any value for him at all it will probably be as a reliever.
   10. The Duke Posted: December 02, 2022 at 10:27 PM (#6107690)
5x15 or 75 for me
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 02, 2022 at 11:02 PM (#6107697)
Reportedly, deGrom gets $30M next season, $40M salaries in 2024-25, $38M in 2026 & $37M in 2027.

The Mets interest in Verlander is presumably more intense now. Cheaper than deGrom, I would think, but still a lot of $$.
   12. John Northey Posted: December 02, 2022 at 11:02 PM (#6107698)
A factor for Texas is they haven't been even a 500 team since 2016 when the Jays sent them home for the 2nd year in a row in the ALDS. One of the few franchises that has never won the World Series - they were leading by 2 in the 9th in game 6 in 2011, then by 2 in the 10th before losing - that is the highlight of the Rangers all-time. Being soooo close but not making it. For a franchise like that you need to take big risks - a WS win would make the GM a God to them. So roll the dice, push it all in and see if you can make it work. Of course, they were 38 out of first last year, 18 out of a playoff slot so this isn't anywhere near enough.

I fully expect Texas to do some more moves. Just glad I'm not a fan of theirs as it could and should get very ugly by 2025.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2022 at 11:12 PM (#6107701)
Maybe he'll DH too. :-)
   14. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2022 at 11:25 PM (#6107704)
While I agree it's too long, the "OMG he's only made 39 starts in the last 3 years" is a bit over the top. He made every start in 2020 (and 2015 and 2017-19). Like every other serious pitcher injury, he missed the 2nd half of the season he was hurt and the 1st half of the next one ... although it does seem 2 separate injuries in deGrom's case. It's not like he makes 5 starts, misses 5 starts, makes 5 starts, etc. You should never expect a pitcher to make more than 125 starts over a 5 year period and obviously he's an old one but unless he's Chris Sale (could be) he'll make 75 starts over the next 3 years.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2022 at 12:27 AM (#6107713)
Pass.
   16. DFA Posted: December 03, 2022 at 01:11 AM (#6107715)
Wow, what a great payday for deGrom. I don't even hate it for the Rangers. I do think there is some truth to the idea that players are going to get paid this off-season. Post pandemic, inflation, and quite frankly the quality of the free agent class is much stronger than typical in my completely uninformed opinion. If you think of the last year of a free agent contract as a sunk cost anyway, which many seem to be, and evaluate it as a 4 year deal for $148M, I think it gets close to the estimate of 3/130 that fangraphs predicted. And sure, while you can't really do that, as the fifth year which is an enormous risk. But if I'm a Ranger fan, I love it. And at the same time, there is a chance he is a completely dominant pitcher for awhile at least, something that is so difficult to find. And obviously, maybe they didn't find it. I guess what I mean is, if you were going to give a five year deal to any pitcher, whom would receive it? Anyone? Robbie Ray? Eduardo Rodriguez? Kevin Gausman?
   17. danup Posted: December 03, 2022 at 04:56 AM (#6107717)
I like that the Rangers are behaving this way because I miss when there were a bunch of front offices out there whose behavior you could not predict... but I would not like it if the team I rooted for behaved this way. Signing a bunch of big free agents in their prime is great, but if they're already 28-35 years old you'd better make sure the team is good already. Or you'd better be prepared to pay retail price for like 10 more 2023 wins.
   18. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: December 03, 2022 at 05:51 AM (#6107718)
ROY, 2 CYs, rate stats on the moon - more counting stats needed - how much more bulk for HOF?
   19. BDC Posted: December 03, 2022 at 08:17 AM (#6107721)
Cross-posted from the Discord:

It's really hard to know with pitchers. I guess on form you'd figure deGrom for ten starts a year with an ERA of 0.91 and most of his time on the training table - but then I think of guys like Bret Saberhagen or even Adam Wainright, I guess, who disappeared intermittently and ended up having very long careers, with very good years late in those careers. DeGrom's Texas contract runs ages 35-39 but that can be prime years for a great pitcher, as various of us noted above in different ways.

The Rangers ... somebody here made a great point about the Dodgers that I think is also true of the Astros of late - they are "weakest-link" organizations, they stress depth throughout and finding guys who can contribute in every role a team needs. Texas is going full-tilt the other way, the "strongest link" philosophy. DeGrom, Seager, Semien, and who needs an outfield, catchers, bullpen, DH, or back-end rotation starters. They'll be fun to watch at times but the strongest-link philosophy has also given us the current Los Angeles Angels, so ... I reckon that if Josh Jung comes on fast at 3B that Texas have bought their way up to 78 wins tops in 2023.

Obviously if everyone has a career year they'll beat that ... but every team thinks that every year, except the Dodgers and Astros :)
   20. bookbook Posted: December 03, 2022 at 08:32 AM (#6107723)
The Rangers are the only team spending quite like this. If they brought in someone who also knew how to build a team, like the Friedman to Dodgers move, the rest of the AL would be in trouble.
   21. The Duke Posted: December 03, 2022 at 08:44 AM (#6107725)
I don't think the Rangers are the only team spending. The Phillies will add a SS and pile on another $30 million contract. The padres could do yet another superstar deal. The Giants are in on Judge and others apparently. Over in the AL the Yanks have yet to spend but probably will. The Astros just spent $40 million on a really old 1B and likely will sign a pitcher.

It continues to be a tale of East and West spending mega bucks while the Central non tenders and sheds $10 million one year contracts.
   22. gehrig97 Posted: December 03, 2022 at 08:55 AM (#6107726)
deGROM TO NY: DROP DEAD!

Man. As a New Yorker, this really sucks. Not a mets fan, but deGrom starts were appointment viewing (if somewhat infrequent the last two years). Will miss watching him pitch.
   23. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 03, 2022 at 09:15 AM (#6107727)
Kinda feels like last year was the Mets’ window. Their lineup is still solid, with everyone in prime years, but their rotation was already on thin ice with guys in their mid to late 30s.
   24. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 03, 2022 at 10:43 AM (#6107736)
ROY, 2 CYs, rate stats on the moon - more counting stats needed - how much more bulk for HOF?


More than he's going to get, I suspect.
   25. KronicFatigue Posted: December 03, 2022 at 11:12 AM (#6107742)
Kinda feels like last year was the Mets’ window. Their lineup is still solid, with everyone in prime years, but their rotation was already on thin ice with guys in their mid to late 30s.


They were absolutely built to win last year. I would contend they're a bit older than you (Marte, Canha, and McNeil key to their offense), they were at the upper limits of their payroll, and they put everything they had into the expectation that Scherzer/deGrom could win them every playoff round. To be successful next year, the kids needs to instantly produce, Scherzer can't decline, and the Mets have to spread out all that de-Grom money elsewhere on their roster.

   26. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 03, 2022 at 11:16 AM (#6107743)
Definitely a lot more. I love DeGrom but he started late due to injuries and switching positions from college shortstop to pitcher. He only has 82 career wins and 1326 innings.
   27. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: December 03, 2022 at 11:51 AM (#6107752)
He'll make no more than 65 starts for them.
   28. Adam Starblind Posted: December 03, 2022 at 12:19 PM (#6107757)
. they were at the upper limits of their payroll


Says who?
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 03, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6107760)
… they were at the upper limits of their payroll
Says who?
Getting outbid for their best player might be a hint.
   30. Itchy Row Posted: December 03, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6107763)
Seems wrong that deGrom is only three months younger than Clayton Kershaw.
   31. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2022 at 01:39 PM (#6107764)
What a HORRIFIC contract!


It's an awesome contract for deGrom. I don't root for ownership profits.
   32. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 03, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6107766)
I love it how sim scores doesn't know what to do with deGrom. His "most similar" player is a deadball pitcher with 7 career WAR.

Fun deGrom facts: his career WHIP is below one, in the past two seasons (both partial, admittedly) he's got a K/BB ratio of about 13. He's the extremiest of extreme players. That said, TEX is going to regret this.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6107769)
deGrom & HoF ...

I'm surprised to see he's had 9 "seasons" already so he will be eligible (without waiver) with his next start. The obvious (really only) comp at the moment is Koufax ... OK, maybe Dizzy Dean. Obviously any serious consideration of the "Koufax exception" requires accepting that (give or take) 6 innings today is like 9 innings in the earlier era:

SK 12 "years," 2324 IP, 165-87, 131 ERA+, 53 WAR, 31 WAA, 3 CYA ... that 4-year peak of 1200 IP, 97-27, 172 ERA+, 36 WAR
JD 9 "years," 1326 IP, 82-57, 155 ERA+, 41 WAR, 30 WAA, 2 CYA ... his career is in line with Koufax's amazing run

That last point might be the most favorable way to view deGrom's case as it stands. He has come close to matching Koufax's peak, he's just spread that out over 5 full seasons, a full 2020 and partial years in 2014, 2021 and 2022. It's not his fault the Mets won't score him any runs to get more wins.

Given his late start and current usage, even a healthy deGrom won't match Koufax's "bulk" by the end of this contract. Sobering thought -- it could be 14 years, never missing a full season, still barely over 2000 innings, about 200-210 decisions (not wins, decisions).

Still anybody who is a "peak" voter has just seen a Koufaxian peak and if we buy the logic that, although a fine pitcher in those other years, Koufax is (and should be) in the HOF on that great peak, then deGrom should be in (unless we think Koufax is the border). Dean too was a fine pitcher but I think you have to conclude that, at worst, deGrom sits between Dean and Koufax. I don't know who the Koufax of the HoVG is -- Guidry maybe? I'd put deGrom ahead of him too.

I don't know how quickly the BBWAA will come around on what a pitching career looks like now or maybe they'll (understandably but unlikely) decide that almost no pitchers of this era will have the necessary bulk and just add 1 or 2 super-peak cases after Verlander/Scherzer ... but Kershaw and deGrom would seem to be those guys.
   34. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: December 03, 2022 at 02:56 PM (#6107777)
... but Kershaw and deGrom would seem to be those guys.

Nice analysis (although DEg might not be a lock quite yet). But you in no way can lump Kershaw with DeGrom as far as peak cases.
   35. The Duke Posted: December 03, 2022 at 03:05 PM (#6107778)
That's interesting. I would never have considered him as HOF candidate.

Having said that, he's one helluva lot better candidate than Billy Wagner or any number of relievers in the Hall.

My general view on relievers is would a guy like hershisher or David cone be able to do what that reliever did and would that reliever be able to replicate what Cone or Hershisher did.

In almost every case, I think Cone and Hershisher could replicate those relief totals with maybe the exception of Rivera, Gossage, and Wilhelm. Degrom is basically a WAY better Billy Wagner doing his K thing at the front end , not the back end.

   36. SoSH U at work Posted: December 03, 2022 at 03:05 PM (#6107779)
but Kershaw and deGrom would seem to be those guys.


Kershaw's at 75 WAR. He's in without Clayton Kershaw's peak.
   37. Booey Posted: December 03, 2022 at 05:00 PM (#6107797)
Kershaw is going to pick up his 200th win next season, and he's already got 2800 k's. Those are HOF career totals. Putting him in the same "peak only" boat as a guy like deGrom who has half the IP, 115 fewer wins, and 1200 fewer k's at the same age is just weird.

Pedro is a better Kershaw comp, IMO.
   38. jimfurtado Posted: December 03, 2022 at 05:21 PM (#6107798)
It's an awesome contract for deGrom. I don't root for ownership profits.

Yes, it's an awesome contract for deGrom.

Unfortunately for fans those greedy, greedy owners don't have unlimited budgets. So, when a team spends money foolishly the fan isn't rewarded with playoff happiness, he just gets a team with a higher payroll loser. The higher payroll then restricts options and, most often, buries the team in the standings for years.

Now, there is a chance this works out for Rangers fans. A Dumb & Dumber chance.
   39. Booey Posted: December 03, 2022 at 05:28 PM (#6107799)
Sorry, I didn't see the 2nd half of post #34. He specifically said that you CAN'T lump Kershaw and deGrom into similar peak cases. That makes more sense.
   40. baxter Posted: December 03, 2022 at 05:55 PM (#6107802)
34, 37 Yes.

Kershaw has pitched 100 innings less than Scherzer
Kershaw is clearly a career candidate; Pedro comp is accurate. If Kershaw can stay on the field, he'll end up passing him.

By the way, for those of you who have back issues, you can see Kershaw's physician: Watkins Spine; in Los Angeles near Marina del Rey, highly recommended.
   41. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2022 at 07:29 PM (#6107816)
Fair points on Kershaw. I didn't mean to suggest he was in the "maybe" basket with deGrom but will admit I'm surprised he's only 100 innings behind Scherzer ... and that he's been around for 15 years, doesn't seem nearly that long.
   42. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2022 at 08:09 PM (#6107819)
He's better than Brandon Webb but they're close to the same innings pitched totals. Smoky Joe Wood is another comp.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2022 at 11:01 PM (#6107844)
Then you can add Kluber 2014-18 (1100 IP, 151 ERA+, 32 WAR, 22 WAA, 2 CYA and 2 thirds). Unfortunately for Kluber, the other 500ish innings aren't good. But yes I think guys like Kluber and Webb (with some more bulk) are at least the HoVG and maybe the borderline HoF pitchers of this era -- stints of dominance relative to league, 6 innings at a time.

I don't know that it's possible to tell how much is due to different usage patterns vs advances in pitching tech vs pitcher WAR being weird (it's certainly beyond me) but Fergie's best 1200ish inning stretch is also around 30-31 WR ... that was in just 4 seasons. (He had three more big years outside of that stretch). Is it easier to pitch as well as Fergie when that load is spread out across 5 (now 6 or even 7) seasons? Is it less valuable? Are today's starters pitching a higher or lower %age of high-leverage innings?** During the Maddux, etc. era, it was at least possible that the reduced load might lead to more seasons and the equal number of career innings but that's clearly not going to happen in current usage (unless these guys start consitently pitching until they're 48).

Were near-Koufaxian peaks more common than we think? In the modern era, we've turned up quite a few already in deGrom, Kluber, Webb and I assume Kershaw, Verander, Scherzer and maybe Greinke have some 1200 IP stretches in the 30-35 WAR range too. Chris Sale 2013-18 is 1200 innings, 143 ERA+, 33 WAR, 22 WAA (no CYAs though). To be clear, I'm not saying they were Koufax's equals necessarily but again I don't think Koufax should be the minimum standard for peak-only. I don't think all of those guys belong but I don't find "if only he had another 1000 innings of 105 ERA+..." any more inspiring than most around here. (By the way, Mo vs Koufax is the most convincing argument to me that Mo belongs.)

** I guess they virtually never pitch high-leverage innings because it's rare for a 6th or 7th inning to be high-leverage. So I guess the question is whether they are wasting fewer innings on low-leverage to make up for whatever high-leverage innings they are missing.

(Wow, Webb's last season was way back in 2009 ... no wonder I don't realize Kershaw has been around 15 years.)
   44. Zach Posted: December 03, 2022 at 11:02 PM (#6107845)
Still anybody who is a "peak" voter has just seen a Koufaxian peak and if we buy the logic that, although a fine pitcher in those other years, Koufax is (and should be) in the HOF on that great peak, then deGrom should be in (unless we think Koufax is the border). Dean too was a fine pitcher but I think you have to conclude that, at worst, deGrom sits between Dean and Koufax. I don't know who the Koufax of the HoVG is -- Guidry maybe? I'd put deGrom ahead of him too.

I think the "Koufax door" to the HOF is that there was a significant fraction of the voters who thought that Koufax was the best pitcher they'd ever seen. The most similar case is Pedro Martinez, who similarly sailed in despite a short career.

2 Cy Youngs is impressive, but are there many people in the electorate who think DeGrom is the best pitcher they've ever seen?
   45. Booey Posted: December 04, 2022 at 01:17 AM (#6107855)
Amongst the pitchers who debuted in the 2010's, since only Gerrit Cole looks like he's got a decent shot at putting up traditional HOF numbers (i.e. 200 wins), it looks like deGrom and Sale could be the test subjects to see how voters treat the new generation of low inning, peak-only starting pitchers. Sale's best seasons aren't as good as deGrom's, but his peak was still really good (7 straight seasons where he made the all star team and finished in the top 6 in MVP voting), plus he debuted 4 years earlier than Jacob, so despite throwing just 47 innings in the past 3 seasons combined, he's still 350 innings, 400 k's, 32 wins, and 2 WAR ahead, AND a year younger. Both just need to pad their careers with some more bulk they'll likely end up amongst the best of their generation by default.

Even though no one regularly throws more than 200 innings anymore, there's gotta be SOME good young pitchers with better durability than Sale and deGrom, right? (in addition to the aforementioned Cole)

Edit: #43 - Yeah, I thought about Kluber. He had that great 5 year peak (32 WAR), and if he'd added almost literally ANY VALUE WHATSOEVER before or after that peak, he'd be in the conversation too. But a whopping 2.7 WAR outside of those 5 years ain't gonna cut it.
   46. Adam Starblind Posted: December 04, 2022 at 02:29 AM (#6107856)
. Getting outbid for their best player might be a hint.


Which, as you know, didn’t happen.
   47. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 04, 2022 at 12:36 PM (#6107873)
Which, as you know, didn’t happen.
Really? The Mets reportedly offered $120M, the Rangers $185M. Now the duration was different, but it seems unlikely that deGrom’s camp didn’t gauge the Mets interest in going beyond the 3 years they offered. Player agents aren’t amateurs at these things.
   48. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 04, 2022 at 12:57 PM (#6107876)
Somebody in Texas wants to be bad.


Fixed.
   49. Adam Starblind Posted: December 04, 2022 at 01:21 PM (#6107878)
. Really? The Mets reportedly offered $120M, the Rangers $185M. Now the duration was different, but it seems unlikely that deGrom’s camp didn’t gauge the Mets interest in going beyond the 3 years they offered. Player agents aren’t amateurs at these things.


To recap, the Mets are now much richer than the Yankees and, unlike the Yankees, have an owner who actually likes baseball. If you think Uncle Unlimited-Resources Steve is going to field some 83 win team to save a few bucks, you have your head squarely up your bunghole.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: December 04, 2022 at 01:45 PM (#6107879)
I think the "Koufax door" to the HOF is that there was a significant fraction of the voters who thought that Koufax was the best pitcher they'd ever seen. The most similar case is Pedro Martinez, who similarly sailed in despite a short career.

Sure, but that's not the debate I'm curious about (yet). Will deGrom actually be elected? I don't know, how long will it take HoF voters to accept that the old standards don't exist anymore (barring some upcoming change)? It seemed to take them several years to adapt to the full-blown 5-man rotation and it might have taken even longer than that if Maddux et al hadn't posted old-school totals. The question I'm raising is whether the "peak-oriented" saber types here and elsewhere will/should support deGrom now and/or how much more does he need to get their support.

But it's not Koufax/Pedro anymore, it's Halladay. He was still compiling enough bulk that his peak/prime was 2200 innnings, 148 ERA+, 63 WAR ... granted, roughly 2 Klubers. But I don't think anybody thought Halladay was the best pitcher they'd ever seen or close to it. (I'm not sure he's in my personal top 10 but I wasn't paying that much attention either.) He also sailed in pretty comfortably. Is he really the minimum even for current voters?

deGrom is already 17th in career CYA shares. Verlander 3, Scherzer 5, Kershaw 6, Kluber 15. (Price 19, Greinke 21, Wainwright 24, Cole already 26, Sale 27.) There's plenty of agreement about who the best pitchers of the era are, the question is whether that's enough.

As to best ever ... their Koufaxian bWAR peaks (i.e. about 1200 innings):

Koufax 36
deGrom 39
Gibson 36
Seaver 40 (his peak is "long" in this comp)
Maddux 40
Clemens 41
Pedro 49
Unit 42
Halladay 34
Verlander 31 (see below)
Scherzer 34+
Kershaw 36
Sale 33

So yes, deGrom's peak hangs with these guys by bWAR at least. Verlander is hurt by my laziness looking at conseecutive stretches, he's had more ups and downs but at his best would be around 35 WAR. None of them touch Pedro.

Obviously all of those pitchers except Koufax gave voters plenty more outstanding seasons to remove any doubt and of course deGrom and Sale might do that too.

And that's the question. Does deGrom need another 1000 or so innings of very good pitching (say 15-20 WAR) to move into Halladay territory? Or is he already close enough?
   51. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 04, 2022 at 02:15 PM (#6107881)
deGrom was the last Met that was on the team that made it to the 2015 World Series, and the last to play with David Wright. End of ear in some ways.
   52. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 04, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6107882)
To recap, the Mets are now much richer than the Yankees and, unlike the Yankees, have an owner who actually likes baseball. If you think Uncle Unlimited-Resources Steve is going to field some 83 win team to save a few bucks, you have your head squarely up your bunghole.
The Mets owner may be personally richer than the Yankees owner, or other MLB owners, but the Yankees still generate much more revenue. There is no indication (aside from a few Mets fanboy fantasies) that Cohen is going to operate the Mets at a big loss. He’ll spend, but has limits like everyone else, and it’s pretty clear that was happened with deGrom. That’s certainly defensible, as many here have noted, given deGrom’s age & injury history, but claiming the Mets weren’t outbid by the Rangers is a bit silly.
   53. Adam Starblind Posted: December 04, 2022 at 02:31 PM (#6107883)
The Mets owner is personally five times richer than the Yankees’ owner; so much so that the team is a toy to him. And as I’m sure you know, deGrom never gave the Mets a chance to up their offer. The 2010s called — they want your beliefs about the NY teams’ finances back. What’s pretty clear is that you’re trying to convince yourself that the Wilpons still own the Mets.
   54. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 04, 2022 at 02:41 PM (#6107884)
re: #53, quite a strawman you’ve built there. No one is denying Cohen’s wealth. However, it didn’t result in the Mets offering deGrom as much as the Rangers did. I doubt deGrom’s camp left Mets money on the table - it’s far more likely that they knew the Mets had little interest in going beyond 3 years, and/or doing so would significantly lower the AAV of a longer Mets deal.
   55. Adam Starblind Posted: December 04, 2022 at 02:56 PM (#6107885)
What you’re describing is deGrom’s camp risking leaving money on the table. Everyone but you seems to understand that deGrom just wanted to move on.

As for my “straw man,” it was directly responsive to your conjecture about the Mets’ finances.
   56. Booey Posted: December 04, 2022 at 04:04 PM (#6107888)
While voters are surely going to have to adjust their standards regarding career innings pitched totalled (and wins), being durable at least relative to your own era still has to count for a lot. Sale has just 6 seasons where he pitched enough to qualify for the era title. deGrom has just 5, and one of them is with 68 innings during the COVID season. Cole already has 7 at a couple years younger. Kershaw - not exactly a paragon of health the 2nd half of his career - has 9. Short career "prime" candidates Pedro and Halladay had 11 and 8 respectively. Even "peak only" candidate Koufax had 8.

So yeah, good as they've been when they were healthy, I think both Sale and deGrom need at least 2-3 more healthy seasons to warrant serious consideration. They don't even need to be CYA contending peak seasons; just some valuable bulk.
   57. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: December 04, 2022 at 06:39 PM (#6107895)
deGrom was the last Met that was on the team that made it to the 2015 World Series, and the last to play with David Wright. End of ear in some ways.
I don't know if they were ever on the diamond at the same time but Nimmo and Wright both played for the Mets in 2016.

EDIT: Nimmo and McNeil played in both games Wright appeared in at the end of the 2018 season.
   58. Zach Posted: December 04, 2022 at 07:52 PM (#6107897)
Will deGrom actually be elected? I don't know, how long will it take HoF voters to accept that the old standards don't exist anymore (barring some upcoming change)?

That's a much more interesting debate. I think almost anyone who is knocking on the Koufax door is going to get elected regardless of the statistical case. But "high peak that doesn't have that many innings behind it, plus a short career by historical standards" is a tougher case to make. Would Roy Halladay be a good test case?

Edit: didn't see that you discussed Halladay in depth later on.
   59. Zach Posted: December 04, 2022 at 07:59 PM (#6107899)
I think we need to bear in mind that the Hall of Fame doesn't exist to not elect anybody. "Best pitcher on the ballot" is going to be a really strong argument, regardless of what that pitcher's career looks like.
   60. KronicFatigue Posted: December 04, 2022 at 08:37 PM (#6107914)
To recap, the Mets are now much richer than the Yankees and, unlike the Yankees, have an owner who actually likes baseball. If you think Uncle Unlimited-Resources Steve is going to field some 83 win team to save a few bucks, you have your head squarely up your bunghole.


This is Cohen's 3rd offseason as owner, right? He's never operated with an "unlimited budget" mentality. Scherzer was the biggest signing last offseason, but he stopped there. He lost 2 of the top 10 (money wise) free agents in Baez and Stroman. He could have signed one of the top SS out there and moved them to 3rd, which was a big black hole.

I remain a strong believer that 22 was the upper limits of the Mets budget. And now as a repeat tax offender, 23 was going to require a bit of belt tightening.

Also, while deGrom is not a HOF, does Cooperstown celebrate people like him? People who I will tell my grandchildren about having seen them play live? I feel like they do, but it's been so long since I've been there.
   61. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 04, 2022 at 08:39 PM (#6107916)
Yes. It's a whole museum. They've got plenty of stuff about players who don't have a plaque on the wall.
   62. Adam Starblind Posted: December 04, 2022 at 09:03 PM (#6107924)
. I remain a strong believer that 22 was the upper limits of the Mets budget.


Ok but again, you’re making that up. Letting Stroman and Baez go isn’t evidence of anything.

Cohen has said repeatedly that his plan is to spend as necessary to contend until the farm starts supplying the players necessary to sustain things. The idea that he’s going to pull up 20 or 40 million short because it’s the “upper limit of the Mets budget” doesn’t make any sense.
   63. Booey Posted: December 04, 2022 at 09:17 PM (#6107929)
For context, deGrom needs 2 or 3 more healthy seasons to equal Johan Santana, who - despite a truly dominant peak - was one and done because of his short career.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2022 at 09:26 PM (#6107935)
Cohen was crystal clear this summer that "$300M is an ample amount of money to field a quality team" and also that he wants to fit in as one of 30 owners.

am not happy about it, because the expectations had been that he would be a Steinbrenner reincarnation and well, it's about time. but that's not going to happen.

still a big upgrade over the previous cheapskates, so there's that.
   65. KronicFatigue Posted: December 04, 2022 at 11:07 PM (#6107957)
Ok but again, you’re making that up. Letting Stroman and Baez go isn’t evidence of anything.


It wasn't just letting them go. It was deciding to start a season with JD Davis, Escobar, McNeil, Cano and Guillorme to combine to play 3rd, 2nd, and DH. Either Cohen 1) thought that was the best team money could buy 2) no free agent on the market wanted to take Cohen's money or 3) there's an upper limit to what Cohen is willing to spend.

They didn't take on a salary dump at the deadline when they were in a tightening division race, despite having a win-now roster and a topheavy rotation that would benefit from the bye. Every action the team has taken in the past two years indicates they have money, but not unlimited money. What standard of proof are you asking for?
   66. NaOH Posted: December 04, 2022 at 11:31 PM (#6107961)
For context, deGrom needs 2 or 3 more healthy seasons to equal Johan Santana, who - despite a truly dominant peak - was one and done because of his short career.

Including postseason statistics, deGrom will finally match Mariano Rivera for career IP next year.
   67. Adam Starblind Posted: December 05, 2022 at 12:44 AM (#6107967)
. What standard of proof are you asking for?


That last year’s payroll was the Mets’ maximum? No standard of proof; it was just a silly proclamation.
   68. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2022 at 12:49 AM (#6107968)
Right, Santana got caught in between "eras." Santana was on the ballot with Mussina (3500+), Schilling (3200+) and, perfectly, Moyer with 4000+ (and Clemens of course). And a still crowded ballot with 7 guys eventually voted in by the writers (and probably 8 with Rolen) plus McGriff, B & C & S. It will have been 15 years or so since Santana when deGrom hits the ballot.

But certainly a great guy to add to the Koufaxian list: 1150 IP, 36 WAR, 25 WAA. DeGrom tops that one too.

Santana pitched in 12 "seasons." For 4 of those, he spent a lot of time in the pen and for another he was hurt for about half of it. So it's 7 years as a full-time SP -- 44 WAR, 30 WAA, 1500 IP. DeGrom has 4 full plus 2020 (not his fault unless I missed a really good covid conspiracy theory) and 4 partial seasons totalling 1300 IP. Is it his fault that starters aren't allowed to go deeper into games? So one more solid season to tie Santana's 1500 and 44 WAR? Or 3 more full seasons after that to get to 2000 IP? Or does Santana simply not belong even under today's pitching usage?

In Koufax's era you need 4 seasons to get your super-peak 1100-1200 innings; in Santana's era it was about 5; now it's more like 6.5. Obviously it also takes more seasons to add another 800 innings of bulk. So deGrom needs at least 13 seasons to get to 2000 innings. I don't necessarily disagree with that but if we're saying 2000 innings with more than half of it pitched at a deGrom level is the minimum standard for the HoF, I don't think we're gonna see a lot of HoF pitchers in the future.

   69. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 05, 2022 at 01:34 AM (#6107970)
As far as the silliness about the Mets not getting a last chance to top the Rangers offer to deGrom, Buster Olney reports that “the Mets had no intention of offering anything close to where the winning bid landed”.
   70. Booey Posted: December 05, 2022 at 01:45 AM (#6107971)
In addition to the ever shrinking IP totals, another hurdle for today's pitchers standing in the way of HOF worthy WAR/WAA totals is the universal DH. Good hitting pitchers used to be able to pad their career WAR/WAA a not insignificant amount at the plate. deGrom himself had already added almost 3 WAR/WAA to his total. Greinke and Bumgarner are at 5, Wainwright at over 4. Hell, Glavine added almost 7 and Gibson was at 7.5! (Not that Glavine or Gibby needed the extra boost)
   71. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 05, 2022 at 01:55 AM (#6107972)
Are there any pitchers whose hitting actually made the difference in their Hall of Fame fortunes? Not counting Babe Ruth, and perhaps eventually Shohei Ohtani?
   72. Adam Starblind Posted: December 05, 2022 at 02:28 AM (#6107974)
. 07970)
As far as the silliness about the Mets not getting a last chance to top the Rangers offer to deGrom, Buster Olney reports that “the Mets had no intention of offering anything close to where the winning bid landed”.


The one Mets offer we know about was a higher AAV than he ended up with the Rangers, so that ought to dispose of the silliness about this being an indication last year was their maximum payroll. We’ll see if the rumor they’re signing Verlander at 86/2 is true.
   73. BDC Posted: December 05, 2022 at 07:47 AM (#6107979)
Are there any pitchers whose hitting actually made the difference in their Hall of Fame fortunes?

Maybe Bob Lemon? … though I guess not really. Lemon won 20 games seven times, 200 for his career, might have been the World Series MVP in 1948 if they'd had the award then. He was a better hitter than Jim Hegan, but he could have been a lot worse and nobody would have cared. Lemon's hitting is not mentioned on his HOF plaque, etc. …
   74. KronicFatigue Posted: December 05, 2022 at 09:29 AM (#6107986)
The one Mets offer we know about was a higher AAV than he ended up with the Rangers, so that ought to dispose of the silliness about this being an indication last year was their maximum payroll. We’ll see if the rumor they’re signing Verlander at 86/2 is true.


Except the Mets still need to resign or replace: Nimmo, Bassitt, Walker, in addition to arb guys Alonso, McNeil, and Guilliorme. We don't know what the Mets would have done the rest of the offseason if they resigned deGrom.

   75. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 05, 2022 at 09:54 AM (#6107991)
If DeGrom's career ended today, he'd be behind Santana on my ballot. That's based mainly on bulk, but DeGrom was more dominant (at least by ERA+), although Santana competes pretty well on season-to-season WAR.
   76. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 05, 2022 at 10:16 AM (#6107994)
Good luck to Jake. I am more optimistic about his durability than most but this is still a big contract and I can understand the Mets not being willing to match it.

I feel like starting pitchers in Texas don't have a great track record. Yu Darvish worked out pretty well I guess, but Texas has never had a CYA winner and they've only had one pitcher with an ERA+ of 150 or better since 1983.

   77. Adam Starblind Posted: December 05, 2022 at 10:39 AM (#6107998)
. We don't know what the Mets would have done the rest of the offseason if they resigned deGrom.


Agreed.
   78. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: December 05, 2022 at 12:08 PM (#6108020)
When do the Rangers hold the press conference introducing deGrom? Granted the announcement of the signing was on Friday evening but it still seems odd to have heard nothing from Jake or his agent in nearly three days.
   79. Booey Posted: December 05, 2022 at 12:13 PM (#6108023)
#71 - I doubt there's any pitchers in the HOF who wouldn't have been without their hitting, but in an age where more and more voters are aware of WAR/WAA and using it to help justify their selections, every little bit helps. I wouldn't be surprised if Greinke's hitting gets him elected a year or 2 earlier than he would have been without it, and I'm guessing his silver sluggers will be mentioned on his HOF plaque. If Bumgarner finished with a borderline HOF case based solely on pitching (looking pretty unlikely), his hitting might put him over the edge.

It's not a huge thing, but it's not nothing, either.

Edit: Red Ruffing added 13.3 WAR and 12.5 WAA to his career totals with his hitting, bringing him from a borderline (at best) 55.4 WAR and 15.3 WAA to a solid 68.6 WAR and 27.8 WAA. I think that would have made a big difference today, although obviously no one knew what WAR/WAA were when he was elected in 1967 (but I'm sure they noticed that a .269 career avg and 36 homers were really good for a pitcher).
   80. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: December 05, 2022 at 12:34 PM (#6108026)
Verlander is signing a two-year deal with the Mets, per DiComo.
   81. Adam Starblind Posted: December 05, 2022 at 12:40 PM (#6108031)
That's a two-year deal at a $43MM AAV, a clear indication that the Mets are operating under serious financial constraints for 2023.
   82. BDC Posted: December 05, 2022 at 01:02 PM (#6108045)
When do the Rangers hold the press conference introducing deGrom?

They are waiting for the Cowboys' season to be over so that they have a hope of getting a local reporter or two to attend.
   83. alilisd Posted: December 05, 2022 at 01:32 PM (#6108052)
While I agree it's too long, the "OMG he's only made 39 starts in the last 3 years" is a bit over the top. He made every start in 2020 (and 2015 and 2017-19). Like every other serious pitcher injury, he missed the 2nd half of the season he was hurt and the 1st half of the next one ... although it does seem 2 separate injuries in deGrom's case. It's not like he makes 5 starts, misses 5 starts, makes 5 starts, etc. You should never expect a pitcher to make more than 125 starts over a 5 year period and obviously he's an old one but unless he's Chris Sale (could be) he'll make 75 starts over the next 3 years.


While they may have been a bit over the top, I think this undersells the concerns with DeGrom going forward. Yes, he pitched three straight "full" seasons 2018-2020, but even with a shortened 2020 he could not stay healthy the past two seasons. This is a concern with any pitcher, but even more so with one who is going to be 35. Combined with his time missed to injury in 2011 and 2016 it is likely more concerning still. For him to average 22 starts per season for the next 3 seasons at 35-37 seems a bit on the high side. I'll be rooting for him though, what an amazing talent!

Edit: Should have given him credit for four "full" from 2017-2020.
   84. Adam Starblind Posted: December 05, 2022 at 02:08 PM (#6108069)
The scapula injury was particularly concerning to people who know about scapulas.
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2022 at 07:47 PM (#6108151)
Mets Career Wins Leaders

1. Tom Seaver 198
2. Dwight Gooden 157
3. Jerry Koosman 140
4. Ron Darling 99
5. Sid Fernandez 98
6. Al Leiter 95
7. Jon Matlack 82
7. JACOB deGROM 82
9. David Cone 81
10. Bobby Jones 74

Mets Career Innings Leaders
1. Tom Seaver 3045.2
2. Jerry Koosman 2544.2
3. Dwight Gooden 2169.2
4. Ron Darling 1620.0
5. Sid Fernandez 1584.2
6. Jon Matlack 1448.0
7. Al Leiter 1360.0
8. JACOB deGROM 1326.0
9. Craig Swan 1230.2
10. Bobby Jones 1215.2

Mets Career Strikeout Leaders
1. Tom Seaver 2541
2. Dwight Gooden 1875
3. Jerry Koosman 1799
4. JACOB deGROM 1607
5. Sid Fernandez 1449
6. David Cone 1172
7. Ron Darling 1148
8. Al Leiter 1106
9. Jon Matlack 1023
10. Jon Niese 838
   86. Adam Starblind Posted: December 05, 2022 at 07:58 PM (#6108154)
Feeling better yet, Howie?
   87. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2022 at 08:31 PM (#6108157)
Meta traded deGrom 5-$185M for Verlander 2-$86M.

given the age of Scherzer and the team overall, I think The Future Is Now so I'm okay with that deal.

seemingly having no stud SPs in the pipeline is going to be a big problem, so overpaying deGrom in 2024-beyond doesn't seem appealing to me.
   88. Adam Starblind Posted: December 05, 2022 at 08:57 PM (#6108160)
The Verlander deal is better than the deGrom deal. You’re right about the pitching pipeline. They will have to follow the 90s Yankees model of paying for pitching when their position player prospects are ready.
   89. reech Posted: December 05, 2022 at 09:06 PM (#6108162)
They will have about $90 million coming off the books in 2025 after Scherzer and Verlander leave.
That'll buy alot of pitching.
   90. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 05, 2022 at 11:13 PM (#6108179)
I dunno, at the rate things are escalating, $90 million might not be enough for them even to re-sign Scherzer and Verlander in 2025.
   91. Adam Starblind Posted: December 08, 2022 at 09:21 PM (#6108832)
Verlander, Nimmo, Robertson, Quintana…this austerity is intolerable.
   92. Adam Starblind Posted: December 09, 2022 at 09:05 AM (#6108851)
. With both Nimmo's and Robertson's deals, the Mets' payroll heading into next season is projected to be around $320 million. They would be the first team ever to open the season with a $300 million payroll, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.


https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/sources-mets-signing-cf-brandon-nimmo-rhp-david/story?id=94820924

So far.

The Mets’ payroll last year was $288MM. Is there anyone among you willing to revise your emphatic statements that last year’s payroll (or $300MM) is the maximum?

Is this thing on?



   93. Howie Menckel Posted: December 09, 2022 at 01:11 PM (#6108886)
is Steve Cohen on BBTF?

he said a couple of months ago that $300M was plenty as a total payroll....
   94. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 09, 2022 at 01:36 PM (#6108893)
I think what some took issue with was the contention that the Mets had an “unlimited payroll” because Cohen was so rich that he’d operate the team as a “toy”. AFAIK, no one doubts that he will spend, but that’s not the same as an unlimited payroll. Why Cohen let deGrom go is known only to him. There could have been baseball reasons, but cost seems likely to be in the mix.
   95. Adam Starblind Posted: December 09, 2022 at 02:00 PM (#6108897)
As you know, I was responding to the contention that 288MM was the maximum the Mets would spend. That turns out to be wildly incorrect, owing to our filthy rich owner who is by the way not done spending yet.
   96. Adam Starblind Posted: December 09, 2022 at 02:24 PM (#6108901)
Why Cohen let deGrom go is known only to him. There could have been baseball reasons, but cost seems likely to be in the mix.



Look, you got it wrong. You said that deGrom leaving was evidence the Mets couldn't or wouldn't increase payroll for 2023. You discounted entirely all of the reporting that deGrom just wanted to move on. And then Cohen went out and signed a more expensive pitcher three days later.

Oh, and you accidentally put "unlimited payroll" in quotes. Probably just a typo.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2022 at 02:27 PM (#6108902)
And then Cohen went out and signed a more expensive pitcher three days later.

That's disingenuous. 5/185 is more expensive than 2/86.
   98. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 09, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6108903)
Kershaw is clearly a career candidate


I guess, in the sense that he's had a long enough career you don't "only" need to look at his peak. But he would be in if his career ended after 2017.

   99. Adam Starblind Posted: December 09, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6108914)
. That's disingenuous. 5/185 is more expensive than 2/86.


We were talking about the 2023 payroll. Verlander costs more than deGrom in 2023.
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2022 at 03:47 PM (#6108917)
We were talking about the 2023 payroll. Verlander costs more than deGrom in 2023.

There's always a trade off. If Cohen is willing to go above $300M this year and next (seems likely) he's going to want to dip below the threshold at some point to reset the tax rates. The deGrom contract makes that much harder to do.
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