8) LA Angels free agent target to pursue: Jacob deGrom
When healthy, Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher on the planet. He strikes out the world and doesn't allow many baserunners. He's allowed one run or fewer in 49% of his starts in his career.
The problem is, he hasn't been healthy. At his 35-year-old age, it's hard to even expect him to be healthy for 30+ starts a year. This makes him very hard to trust. Because of how good he is, he has to be on this list.
deGrom is going to be searching for a long and expensive payday. I'm not sure how many years he will get, but he's going to get a lot of money annually. Especially if he came to Anaheim.
deGrom can hit 100+ mph with his fastball consistently and throws knee-buckling 95 mph sliders. I've never seen a starting pitcher do what he's done.
deGrom returned from 13+ months on the sidelines because of various injuries to put up a 3.08 ERA in his 11 starts. That's considered poor from the two-time Cy Young Award winner. In those starts he struck out an absurd 102 batters in 64.1 innings pitched while walking only eight batters. His 12.75 K/BB ratio is almost unfathomable. I say almost because he had a 13.27 K/BB ratio the season prior.
The one flaw in deGrom's game has been his inability to stay on the field. He used to be a guy the Mets could rely on to make 30 starts per year. He averaged 29.8 starts per year from 2015-2019.
If the Angels were to sign deGrom and get even 25 starts that seems like a win. Can they even rely on that? The risk seems too great for a team still far away from postseason contention, but the talent is just too much to ignore to not include on a list like this.
I don't really have any interest in paying that kind of money to a free agent with Ohtani still not extended long-term, but again, it's Jacob deGrom. The Angels should at least try to set a meeting with him and talk. Maybe he likes Anaheim?