The New York Mets are acquiring All-Star starting pitcher Chris Bassitt from the Oakland Athletics, parting ways with two prospects in a move to bolster their rotation.
Following the end of the MLB lockout, reports surfaced that New York wanted to find a back-end starter for its rotation. After signing Max Scherzer, the Mets wanted to add a reliable innings-eater at the back of their pitching staff and they found one.
- Chris Bassitt stats (2021): 3.15 ERA, 159/39 K/BB ratio, 1.06 WHIP, 25% K-rate across 157.1 innings
Jeff Passan of ESPN first reported the deal, with New York acquiring the right-handed pitcher in exchange for two prospects. According to MLB insider Joel Sherman, the Athletics will receiver JT Ginn and Adam Oller.
Bassitt, projected to make $8.8 million through salary arbitration this season, is in the final year of his contract. The 33-year-old projects to slide in as the Mets’ third starter behind Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker will operate behind the trio.
New York Mets rotation will be one of best in MLB
New York wants to be led by excellent pitching in 2022 and the moves made this offseason will help accomplish that. deGrom is expected to be ready for the 2022 season after dealing with recurring elbow issues last season.
At the front of the rotation, a three-time Cy Young Award winner serves as New York’s co-ace. Across 179.1 innings with the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers last year, Scherzer posted a 2,46 ERA with a 15-4 record, 34.1% strikeout rate and a .184 batting average allowed.
Health will be the crucial factor for deGrom. While his velocity ticked up in 202, elbow issues are concerning for a 33-year-old. However, there’s no doubt he is the best pitcher in the National League when healthy. Across 92 innings last season, the two-time Cy Young Award recipient posted an absurd 41.7% K-BB rate with a 1.08 ERA.
Bassitt, who often performed like the No. 2 starter in a quality Athletics rotation, will back up New York’s elite arms. Flashing great command and the ability to keep the ball in the yard, he’ll often be the best No. 3 starter in a head-to-head matchup.
Carrasco is the true wild card. He posted a 2.91 ERA in 2020 and boasts a career 3.86 ERA with a 9.41 K/9. However, he only made 12 starts this past year and registered a 6.04 ERA with a .269 batting average allowed. If he figures things out, finishing the season with an ERA under 4.5, New York’s rotation can give it an edge over the Atlanta Braves.