Two Texas Rangers on the disabled list make more than the payrolls of the Orioles and A’s

Madeleine Cook/

He is a 34-year-old starting pitcher who has not pitched 100 innings in a season since 2019, and Jacob deGrom is not going to hit that lofty figure in 2023.

Good chance he will not ever pitch 100 innings in a season ever again.

The Texas Rangers took a Jerry Jones-sized risk this offseason when they handed the former New York Mets pitcher a five-year, $185 million contract.

deGrom didn’t make it to May without landing on the disabled list. He left his scheduled start on Friday night against the New York Yankees after 3 2/3 innings when he complained of pain in his right elbow.

deGrom had an MRI on Saturday, and the Rangers announced that he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. He will be evaluated in a week.

It’s not a tear. Here ends the optimism.

There is no good way to spin this. The Rangers gave deGrom a fortune to be their ace, which he can. He’s simply no longer sturdy enough to do it.

The Rangers now have deGrom and shortstop Corey Seager on their disabled list; that’s a combined $62 million of payroll on the DL. That’s more than the entire payrolls of the Oakland A’s and Baltimore Orioles.

(Seager should be back shortly).

This is going to be life with Jacob deGrom. There is no way the Rangers can rely on him this season, or ever.

Of all the free agents to sign with the local teams, ever, there has never been one like deGrom. Every time he plays a game for the rest of his career it will come with more fear than awe.

He is as talented of a pitcher the Rangers have ever had. This season, he has pitched 30.1 innings and allowed 19 hits, nine earned runs, with four walks, 45 strikeouts and a 9 er, 4 BB, 45 K and a 2.67 ERA.

When he pitches, he’s one of the best in the game. The Rangers are 6-0 in his starts.

That arm has so much mileage. He has a long, storied history, and relationship, with the disabled list. He probably has a second house there.

He has had issues with his rotator cuff, forearm, elbow, his “right side,” right scapula, etc.

What the Rangers announced on Saturday is just more of the same. This is the reason New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, who would spend $19 million to re-sign bat boys, decided against keeping deGrom in the offseason.

The Rangers fooled themselves into thinking deGrom was going to do anything other than what he’s done the last three years. No 34-year-old starting pitcher, with a history of arm issues, suddenly finds good health at his age.

In his career, he’s reached the 30 start plateau four times; 2015, ‘17, ‘18, and ‘19.

This is what we should expect from Jacob deGrom: 15 starts, 90 innings. His stuff is electric. His location looks like AI.

His durability does not exist. Of his six starts with the Rangers, he’s reached the seventh inning once.

Some of that is by design; starting pitchers and “seven innings pitched” don’t see each other often in today’s game.

Some of this is because something has popped up that has made the Rangers pull deGrom down from his start. Every time the Rangers have done that, every Rangers fan, executive and player holds their breath that it’s “nothing.”

This time it’s something.

The best news is that it’s not a tear.

He will be back.

He will be great.

And then it will be something else.

That’s the way it goes with Jacob deGrom.