Texas Rangers to host 2024 All-Star Game

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NEW YORK — The Texas Rangers will host Major League Baseball’s 2024 All-Star Game at their stadium where a neutral-site World Series was played during the pandemic, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced.

Speaking at the conclusion of this week’s owners’ meetings in New York, Manfred announced the game will be held July 16, 2024 at Globe Life Field, a retractable-roof stadium that opened without fans being able to attend during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The World Series was played there with a limited number of fans, the first Fall Classic since 1944 held all at one site.

“The Rangers stepped up under difficult circumstances and Globe Life Field served as terrific host for the 2020 postseason, including the World Series,” Manfred said. “We are excited to once again feature baseball’s newest ballpark on a global stage.”

The National League Championship Series and the NL Division Series, both won by the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, were also played in Arlington that fall.

Next year’s All-Star Game will take place in Seattle, which last hosted in 2001 in Ichiro’s rookie year and Cal Ripken Jr.’s final season.

Philadelphia will host the 2026 All-Star Game to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. No announcement has been made about the 2025 game.

Texas will host its second All-Star Game and first since the National League claimed a 3-2 victory in 1995 at The Ballpark in Arlington, which was in its second year. It was over 100 degrees at the start of the game, and even hotter for festivities held the previous day.

That was the first midsummer classic since a contentious strike canceled the remainder of the 1994 regular season and postseason and reduced the 1995 season to 144 games.

“The Texas Rangers are honored to be awarded the 2024 All-Star Game,” Rangers Majority Owner and Managing Partner Ray Davis said in a statement “With the opening of Globe Life Field in 2020 and the incredible development that continues to take place around the park, Arlington is an ideal location to host Major League Baseball and the Midsummer Classic.”

There about 1,200 hotel rooms that will be available directly adjacent to the stadium, including one hotel that is open and another under construction along with a new convention center. There will be about 7,000 rooms overall in Arlington and Fort Worth.

“We are honored to be selected by MLB to host the All-Star Game once again,” Arlington Mayor Jim Ross said in the statement. “We look forward to welcoming the most talented baseball players to show off their skills in one of the best stadiums in the country. Globe Life Field and Arlington’s Entertainment District are ready to put on a spectacular 2024 All-Star Week for baseball fans from all over the world.”

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

Jacob deGrom
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing 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.

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

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.