UPDATE: It took another turn for the worse Tuesday night. Tommy John surgery.
Perhaps we sound like a broken record writing this over and over, but Los Angeles Dodgers fans need to be reminded how the team's lack of a pursuit for Jacob deGrom saved them millions, as well as countless headaches and "what ifs."
deGrom, undoubtedly the most talented pitcher of his generation, has seen his last three seasons derailed by injuries. Though he has a reputation for being injury prone, before 2021, he made 30 or more starts in four out of five seasons and was fully healthy for his rookie campaign when he got the call in mid-May. During the shortened 2020 campaign, he made his scheduled 12 starts, too.
Prior to 2021, only his 2016 season was cut short (24 starts) due to injury. But the Dodgers read the tea leaves from 2021 and 2022, rightfully exercising caution when the right-hander hit the open market.
Yes, LA was desperate for pitching, but they weren't desperate enough to surrender $185 million over five years for someone who had just dealt with forearm and shoulder injuries. That's $37 million per season for what was proving to be a major risk based on his recent history.
The Rangers had the money to spend and they pulled the trigger. Can't blame them for trying to get better and elevate themselves over the Astros. But deGrom's tenure got off to a poor start when he was delayed in spring training due to side soreness.
Then he made six starts before elbow inflammation knocked him out of action in late April. Up until Monday, there was a lack of information surrounding deGrom's status, but then the Rangers hit everyone with a bomb: deGrom was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Just a reminder: The Dodgers avoided disaster with Jacob deGrom
Now, the earliest deGrom can return is June 28, but that's probably not even going to happen since he's far from out of the woods with his current issue. The Rangers told reporters that his symptoms have "come and gone" and that the recovery process has not been "linear."
That doesn't necessarily sound like there's an end in sight. The 60-day IL designation was more than likely a formality so the Rangers could free up a roster spot. At this rate, if he's not throwing at all, he's certainly not going to be back by June 28, though.
The Doders have had enough injury troubles this year. Julio Urías suffered a hamstring injury and then a setback. Dustin May's elbow is barking again after Tommy John surgery. Tony Gonsolin missed the first month of the season. The bullpen is decimated.
Now, just picture the Dodgers dealing with deGrom's current situation after they brought him in to shore up an already questionable rotation behind Clayton Kershaw and Urías. It wouldn't have been quite as disastrous as the Trevor Bauer deal, but fans would be having a very difficult time handling this cascading injury news in relation to one of the highest-paid players in franchise history.