SURPRISE, Ariz. — Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom was held out of the first spring training workout for the Texas Rangers on Wednesday because their top free agent acquisition felt some tightness in his left side.
Each of deGrom’s past two seasons with the New York Mets were shortened substantially by injuries, but Rangers general manager Chris Young insisted the decision to hold out deGrom was precautionary. It was an unusually chilly day in Arizona and some fields were slick from overnight rain.
“It’s as much about it being Day 1 of spring training as anything,” Young said. “He’s been throwing. His arm feels great.”
Young said deGrom, who signed a $185 million, five-year deal in December, wanted to participate in the first workout of spring training. The GM said deGrom has already thrown about six bullpens. He felt tightness after his latest bullpen a few days ago.
“Nothing major, but having him come in today with the weather conditions, I made the decision that we’re going to hold him off from throwing for a day or two until we can treat him and things return to normal,” said Young, a former big league pitcher. “We wanted to make sure that we play things slowly.”
The 34-year-old deGrom spent the first nine years of his big league career with the Mets.
Before missing the final three months of the 2021 season with right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow, he had a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings.
The right-hander was then shut down late in spring training last year because of a stress reaction in his right scapula and didn’t make his first big league start until Aug. 2. He went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA over 64⅓ innings in 11 starts, then opted out of a $30.5 million deal to become a free agent for the first time.
DeGrom is 82-57 with a 2.52 ERA and 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 career innings.