Rangers could land Jacob deGrom in quest for pitching

The Rangers are intent on adding a big-time starter, and word is they may go for Jacob deGrom. Folks marvel at how MLB’s best pitcher is throwing better than ever off his 13-month layoff, and while there aren’t a lot of teams ready to take a $40 million gamble, the Rangers might.

Rangers baseball president Chris Young wouldn’t address any specific pitching targets but said they “will leave no stone unturned” in their search to upgrade pitching a year after they significantly upgraded offense.

There’s been a lot of speculation about whether the DeLand, Fla., product deGrom prefers to leave New York and go south, though most speculation centers on the Braves. From here it’s hard to see a corporate team taking that risk.

Jacob deGrom
Jason Szenes for the New York Post

Nolan Arenado is said to love St. Louis so much he will remain with the team despite his opt-out. He bought a house there and appreciates having a great relationship with the front office after Colorado. They could alter his deal, but friends say he’s going nowhere.

The Mets are open to hiring a business person as team president, but depending on applicants may consider a baseball person. Brewers baseball president David Stearns likely remains a person of intrigue.

The Rangers are concentrating on their manager search now but may consider additions to the front office. Will Venable, Brad Ausmus, Luis Rojas, Mark DeRosa, John Gibbons, Joe Maddon, Joey Cora, Walt Weiss, Pat Murphy, Charlie Montoyo, Chris Woodward, Skip Schumaker, Mike Napoli, Mike Shildt and Raul Ibañez are among viable manager candidates league-wide. Venable and Ausmus have connections to Young.

With Scott Harris’ appointment as Tigers president, speculation is he could bring in Jason McLeod, who along with Harris under Theo Epstein helped build the great Cubs teams.

Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore speaks to members of the media
Ex-Royals president Dayton Moore
AP Photo

It’s a sad day when the Royals let go baseball president Dayton Moore, a fantastic baseball guy who remains the only true small-market GM to reach two straight World Series and win one. The firing surprised him, too. Expectations there were unrealistic. Moore always joked he was the only GM from Garden City Community College (he also graduated George Mason); the trend is toward Ivy Leaguers. Manager Mike Matheny, who doesn’t seem favored by players, would seem to be in peril now.

Frankie Montas’ MRI was said “clean,” but the Yankees need to get him right. The deadline wasn’t kind to acquiring teams. The Mariners, one team to give up top prospects (they surrendered their Nos. 1, 3 and 5 guys for Luis Castillo), were rewarded. Of the hitters, J.D. Davis has done best (.808 OPS in San Francisco).

Braves rookie Vaughn Grissom is great but isn’t yet seen as long-term starting shortstop. So their target remains re-signing free-agent-to-be Dansby Swanson, now a Gold Glove candidate. Even so, he’s in a tough spot in negotiations as an Atlanta product.

MLB lobbied to get to Canada to lift its vaccine requirement, and was pleasantly surprised to hear news it’s expected to be removed Sept. 30, a plus for teams like the Mets and Phillies with unvaccinated stars.