Jacob deGrom’s contract protects Rangers from Tommy John surgery

Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is prepared to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. The Texas Rangers are protected in his contract.

The Texas Rangers received the worst possible news on Tuesday. After undergoing an MRI to check on progress from right elbow inflammation, it was determined that ace Jacob deGrom needed to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his UCL. With that, his season is over after just six starts.

This is brutal news for the Rangers, as they gave the two-time NL Cy Young award winner a five-year, $185 million contract. It was a gamble at first glance, as deGrom had missed significant time during the 2021 and 2022 seasons due to injuries. Now, the Rangers will wait for deGrom to undergo and recover from Tommy John surgery.

As it turns out, the Rangers are protected from the procedure.

Rangers protected in contract with Jacob deGrom set to undergo Tommy John surgery

The contract contains a conditional option that will kick in if deGrom were to undergo Tommy John surgery or any kind of right elbow or shoulder surgery that would force him to be placed on the injured list for 130 consecutive days during the 2023 or 2026 seasons. That option would be Texas’ choice for the 2028 season and would start at $20 million. It could increase to $30 million if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young voting at any time during the contract or pitches at least 625 innings, and to $37 million if he finishes top five in Cy Young voting three times or more, or pitches at least 725 innings.

Additionally, the Rangers didn’t have insurance on deGrom’s contract for 2023 due to his injury history.

Before the right elbow inflammation that turned out to be a tear of his UCL, deGrom missed the start of spring training due to left-side tightness. Then in mid-April, deGrom left a start against the Kansas City Royals due to a sore right wrist.

On the year, deGrom recorded a 2.67 ERA, a 0.758 WHIP, 45 strikeouts, and four walks in 30.1 innings pitched.

Now, the Rangers will await for deGrom’s Tommy John surgery to see how much repair is needed to the UCL. Either way, he is expected to be out for the next 12 months at a minimum.

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