Chicago Cubs: Worth waiting to spend big bucks on – #1: Jacob deGrom
Coming in at number one, Jacob deGrom. The man is simply on track to be one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Though he gets no run support in the Big Apple, his ERA and pretty much everything about him from a statistical standpoint is absurd.
deGrom was having an absolutely magical year before going down with a forearm tightness injury in July. He posted a 7-2 ERA with a 1.08 ERA. His FIP of 1.24 is about three times better than most even other dominant starters. Another strikeout machine, deGrom has 1,505 strike outs over the span of his eight-year career. Though he started a little later than most, He still has a shot at 3,000 but will need to stay healthy and continue to be a workhorse in doing so.
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For 2021, deGrom’s K/9 is a ridiculous 13.29. He was simply mowing down everybody in his way this year before his injury occurred. The former Rookie of the Year, four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner is going to be a shoo-in unless he magically tanks the rest of his career, which I doubt anybody is betting on. His career ERA over eight years sits at 2.50, better than most pitcher’s single best season ever. This guys puts up video game numbers regularly.
It’s no wonder why deGrom’s contract is as expensive as it is. First of all, it will be important to keep in mind here that is deGrom ever hits free agency, he will be one of the most sought after pieces in recent history. The odds of even obtaining his services via free agency will be slim to none as all 30 teams will be inquiring.
Either way, we have to look at the most possible path in which he could end up on the northside of Chicago. Currently earning $33,500,000 in both 2021 and 2022, deGrom’s player option comes in 2023 with a club option in 2024.
Okay, I understand why signing deGrom sounds slightly far-fetched. I really do. Two things you have to keep in mind here. One, is in two years it’s very likely the Cubs will be contenders again and will be making an aggressive push. Two, much like Chris Sale, he could simply opt out knowing he could secure a longer contract on a winning team and still make boat loads of money.
If I’m earning $30 million for the next two years and I’m the best pitcher in the league, why wouldn’t I test the waters knowing I can probably still make the same amount the next two years and add an extra couple guaranteed years to my contract? Especially if it means I can finally contend for a World Series?
Why is that so hard to believe? It wouldn’t be the first time the Cubs signed a huge free agent pitcher recently. I can imagine free agency would be the only viable path as trading for him in a non-contract year would deplete your farm again. Either way, however you can get him, this is who you break the bank for. deGrom is the cream of the crop.