SURPRISE, Ariz. — Jacob deGrom threw his first bullpen session in spring training camp for the Texas Rangers on Thursday.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 20-25 pitches off the mound. That came eight days after the team’s first official workout, when the newly acquired right-hander was held out because of tightness in his left side.

DeGrom had thrown off flat ground and done long toss since then. He had also thrown about six bullpen sessions before even getting to Arizona.

Texas signed deGrom to a $185 million, five-year contract during the offseason. The 34-year-old deGrom spent the first nine years of his big league career with the Mets, but injuries limited him to 156 1/3 innings in 26 starts over the past two seasons.

After missing the final three months of the 2021 season with right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow, deGrom was shut down late in spring training last year because of a stress reaction in his right scapula. He didn’t pitch in the big leagues last season until August, then became a free agent for the first time.

New Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said that there were no concerns about deGrom’s delay getting on the mound.


“Well, you look at the throwing he did before, we decided to back off a little bit,” Bochy said. “It’s not any concern on our part, especially where we’re at in spring training here. … He feels great.”

The Rangers have five weeks before their opener at home March 30 against NL champion Philadelphia.

PHILLIES: Bryce Harper’s arrival at spring training camp remains a couple of weeks away as he recovers from elbow surgery.

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Harper is taking swings with a bat at home in Las Vegas and will report March 8 or 9.

Harper had surgery on his right elbow in November after leading the Phillies to the NL pennant. The Phillies said then that Harper was expected to return in a designated hitter role by the All-Star break and could play right field by season’s end.

“He’s doing great from the recovery perspective,” Dombrowski said. “In his progress, doctors are happy where he is.”


Phillies Manager Rob Thomson said the next step in the rehab progress will be Harper hitting off a tee and taking soft toss in a batting cage.

The 30-year-old Harper sustained a small tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16.

Harper had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to DH. He went on to help the Phillies reach their first World Series since 2009, and they lost to Houston in six games.

He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBI in 17 postseason games.

Harper missed two months last season after breaking a thumb when he was hit by a pitch in late June. The two-time NL MVP hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBI in 99 games.

RAYS: Reliever Ryan Thompson called for more transparency in the arbitration process after losing his case last week. Thompson will make $1 million rather than the $1.2 million he sought.


“The biggest issue with this process to me is that the arbitrators get to make whatever decision they come to, but with no explanation or defense of the decision,” Thompson said in a lengthy Twitter thread. “In any other legal case, the decision is public, this for some reason is very hidden and secretive.

“If the process is created in order for fairness, then why don’t we learn the laws of the land? In some sense, we were shooting in the dark not knowing what the arbitrators leaned into and what they disregarded. These understandings matter.”

Major League Baseball and the players agreed when they established arbitration for 1974 that only a decision would be issued, with no explanation.

Thompson said he had no hard feelings toward the Rays and said they were “as professional and respectful as possible considering the circumstances.” But he had issues with the statistics that were used to judge his worth as a middle reliever.

Thompson said he considers holds and leverage index the most important statistics for a middle reliever or setup man such as himself. He said the Rays discredited his statistics in those categories and noted his blown saves, lack of usage against left-handers and what he cited as a Fangraphs metric called “meltdowns,” which essentially notes whether a pitcher made his team more likely to lose by a certain amount.

Thompson also noted that he was told not to reveal the date of his case to make sure arbitrators wouldn’t research him beforehand and create a bias.


“However, upon entry to the hearing, they all have phones out and they use them freely during the breaks,” Thompson tweeted. “After the case, they don’t sit in the room and hash out the decision, but rather they head to the hotel bar. It is extremely disconcerting that the arbitrators are socializing, drinking and using their devices prior to making a decision. (Not at all assuming foul play). Just an obvious flaw I witnessed.”

Thompson, 30, went 3-3 with three saves and a 3.80 ERA in 47 appearances last season.

TWINS: Infielder Donovan Solano finalized a $2 million, one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins, who added another productive and versatile player to an already deep bench.

The deal was agreed to on Tuesday and finalized after completion of a physical. He can earn an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances.

Solano hit .284 with 16 doubles and four home runs last season in 80 games for Cincinnati, playing mostly first base. He spent three years with San Francisco prior to that, winning a Silver Slugger award for National League second basemen in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season when he batted .326 with a career-best .828 OPS in 54 games.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.