The Los Angeles Dodgers head into spring training without making any substantial acquisitions from the offseason. While the team ultimately did not bring in any huge names over the winter, there still were some big-name rumors surrounding the team.
The Dodgers were absolutely in the market for Jacob deGrom and were one of the most talked-about teams when it came to the hard-throwing right-hander. Los Angeles has shown an affinity for giving out short-term, high AAV deals in the past, making players like deGrom and Justin Verlander sensible candidates.
deGrom was ultimately too pricey as he signed a five-year, $185 million contract with the Texas Rangers that will keep him employed through his age-39 season. There were obvious concerns with this deal as deGrom hasn't been the gold standard of durability in recent years.
Those concerns are already coming to fruition and deGrom hasn't even pitched in a spring training game for the Rangers. deGrom's very first bullpen for Texas had to be pushed back due to -- you guessed it! -- some tightness in his left side.
Jacob deGrom is proving the Dodgers right for not signing him
This doesn't appear to be a substantial injury. but just because it's not already at that point doesn't mean it isn't concerning. deGrom gets absolutely no benefit of the doubt when it comes to his durability and the fact that he's already delayed in the new year after doing nothing but resting in the offseason would sound the alarm bells for any team that gave him that much money after back-to-back injury-shortened seasons.
An injury-prone pitcher is not going to suddenly get less injury prone as he gets into his late 30s. Many people figured this contract would blow up in the Rangers' faces, and it might happen sooner than anyone could have expected.
Texas is already dressing this up as nothing to be concerned about, which is almost more concerning than if they weren't coming up with excuses. Cold weather? In Arizona? Sure, it's not blazing hot in Arizona yet, but mid-40s certainly isn't anythng out of the ordinary, especially compared to the weather he pitched in for the Mets all those years in New York.
This past offseason may have been disappointing for Dodgers fans, but the team has always shown an ability of having a sixth sense and knowing when to not pursue certain top names. Maybe that, and not the luxury tax, is the reason that the Dodgers stayed away from $100 million+ contracts this winter.
deGrom is the first to support that argument. Who will be next?