The Mariners have a great rotation already. We saw a great jump from Logan Gilbert, George Kirby had a wonderful rookie season, Robbie Ray won the Cy Young in 2021, and Luis Castillo is going to be a frontrunner for the CY Young award for years to come. What would happen if the Mariners added someone better than all of them to the team? That would be the case if they signed Jacob DeGrom to the team.
DeGrom is a free agent and is looking for one of the highest AAVs that has ever been handed out to a pitcher. At 35, he is closing in on the end of his career, so a deal wouldn’t be long. It’s still going to be an expensive deal though. Is it something the Mariners could look into.
Although incredible, the Mariners should say no to Jacob DeGrom
Look, DeGrom is incredible. He’s had an incredible career, and if you can get a healthy DeGrom on your team, it instantly makes your team a lot better. The stretch from 2018-2019 when he won back-to-back Cy Youngs is historical.
- 64 GS, 421 IP, 524 Ks (11.2/9), 2.05 ERA, 0.941 WHIP
Imagine having that every fifth game? Almost seven innings a start (6.58 IP) and only a run or two allowed each time? It would be amazing.
There is a bit of a problem though. While he didn’t miss a single start over those two years, he has only made 42% of his starts over the last two seasons, starting 26 of 64 potential outings. When he pitches, his numbers look quite familiar, if not even better than his back-to-back CY Young years.
- 26 GS, 6 IP per start, 14.3 K/9, 1.90 ERA, 0.633 WHIP
With 15 starts in 2021 and 11 in 2022, can you really commit $45 million a year to him? Yes, if he pitches then you are getting the best pitcher in baseball. However, If he misses even half a season over a three-year contract, is it worth it?
I don’t think it is. That’s 1/6th of his deal that you are just giving him for free, and it’s already the highest AAV. If he does miss that much time, then you could extrapolate it out and argue you would actually be paying him about $54M in AAV after a bit of math. You’d need a spot starter for at least half a season as well.
A rotation of DeGrom-Castillo-Kirby-Gilbert-Ray would just be downright dirty. But, chances are you wouldn’t be able to sign any hitters to your team, and would only be able to add via trade. That isn’t what this team needs. They need bats, and Teoscar Hernandez can’t be the only answer.
Sure, DeGrom would be fun. Not saying that he would, but if he comes calling to the Mariners, I think they need to be truthful and honest about what they need and say no to signing Jacob DeGrom.