Jacob deGrom has passed Tim Lincecum on the way to Johan Santana, with Roy Halladay as the destination.
This is deGrom’s Hall of Fame path. He is trying to make up for a late start to his major league career and evolve from impressive to immortal.
DeGrom’s Cooperstown brand would be burnished if he could win a third straight Cy Young award. Eleven pitchers have won two in a row. Only Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson did more, both winning four straight. That merely augmented the candidacy of two 300-game winners who would be on the short list of best pitchers ever and Hall of Fame locks even without four straight Cys.
DeGrom is not going to sniff 300 wins. He probably will never make it to 200. He needs at least two more good years to even get to 100 (he is at 66). As we have seen, however, with deGrom’s consecutive Cy Youngs, the modern Baseball Writers Association of America voter has downgraded wins as an important stat — and the veteran members of the BBWAA vote for the Hall of Fame.
What would help deGrom is a third Cy Young — three in a row is best, but just a third Cy Young would be a real boost — some further postseason success and more years that look…