Athletics to use off-day to readjust starting rotation

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With Monday’s day off, their last one of the regular season, the Athletics will readjust their starting rotation so that Sonny Gray pitches the regular season finale in Texas against the Rangers, per CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich. The fading A’s, who defeated the Mariners on Sunday afternoon but have lost 12 of their last 17, will likely need every small advantage as they attempt to maintain a hold one of the two American League Wild Card slots.

The adjustment will have the Athletics sending out, in order, Scott Kazmir, Jeff Samardzija, and Sonny Gray in their three-game series against the Rangers at home from Tuesday through Thursday. Samardzija had been pitching ahead of Kazmir. Jon Lester and Jason Hammel remain unaffected at the back of the rotation.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).