ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas ace Jacob deGrom will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, ending the right-hander’s first season after signing five years and $185 million with the Rangers.
“We have a special group here and not being able to go out there and help them win pointless,” deGrom said through tears, speaking several times. “Wanting to be there to help the team is a disappointment.”
DeGrom’s loss is a blow to the division-leading Rangers, with whom he was in his first season. The injured pitcher signed a five-year, $185 million deal.
General manager Chris Young said Tuesday that the decision stemmed from a recent MRI on deGrom’s right elbow, but the extent of what would be needed could not be determined until surgery next week.
Tommy John surgery is typically necessary to repair the ulnar collateral ligament, but Young and the Rangers did not provide further details on whether this is a procedure the pitcher will undergo.
The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner had not pitched since April 28, when he left early against the New York Yankees with injury concerns for the second time in three starts.
The operation was announced a day after deGrom went on the 60-day disabled list.
After being drafted by the New York Mets in 2010, deGrom made six starts that summer before requiring Tommy John surgery that sidelined him in 2011, three years before his major league debut.
Young said the most recent MRI showed increased swelling and significant structural damage, which were not seen in earlier scans after deGrom left the Yankees game.
The Rangers signed deGrom, who turns 35 this month, after playing his first nine seasons with the Mets. He was limited to 156 1/3 innings in 26 of his last two seasons with New York due to injuries.
The AL West leaders have won all six of deGrom’s starts (2-0), but the right-hander has pitched only 30 1/3 innings. His ERA is 2.67, with 45 strikeouts and four walks.
Young said the goal is for the pitcher — who turns 35 this month — to come back at the end of next season. Both were happy to clearly understand the visible injury on their elbow.