Jacob deGrom had reconstructive surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow Monday, and Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said the procedure went well.
The typical recovery time after the operation, commonly known as Tommy John surgery, is at least 12-14 months. Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister performed the surgery, which came a week before deGrom’s 35th birthday.
Texas signed deGrom to a $185 million, five-year deal in free agency last winter when the right-hander was coming off two injury-plagued seasons with the New York Mets.
Before deGrom (2-0, 2.67 ERA) got hurt, the AL West-leading Rangers won all six games the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner started. He last pitched against the New York Yankees on April 28, when he exited early because of injury concerns for the second time in three starts. The four-time All-Star had 45 strikeouts with only four walks in 30 1/3 innings.
An MRI last week showed more inflammation and significant structural damage in the ligament, and the team announced deGrom would have season-ending surgery. A scan the day after he left the game against the Yankees, and before five bullpen sessions that followed, showed only inflammation.
DeGrom spent his first nine major league seasons with the Mets, but threw only 156 1/3 innings over 26 starts his last two years in New York. He missed the final three months of 2021 with right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow, then didn’t make his first big league start last year until Aug. 2 after being shut down late in spring training because of a stress reaction in his right scapula.
After being drafted by the Mets in 2010, deGrom had Tommy John surgery while still in the low minors. He missed the entire 2011 season and didn’t make his big league debut until 2014.
This surgery, expected to keep him out at least a year, will trigger Texas’ conditional option on deGrom’s contract for a sixth season at $20 million, $30 million or $37 million. The 2028 price will depend on deGrom’s performance during the contract and health following the 2027 season, the fifth year of the deal.