Chris Bassitt trade creates vaunted top 3 in Mets’ rotation

Chris Bassitt Mets
Chris Bassitt
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Industry expectation was that the Mets were not going to be done making big moves when MLB’s lockout was lifted on Thursday, and it was right. Chris Bassitt is the newest jewel that will be featured in New York’s rotation after the right-hander was acquired on Saturday night from the Oakland Athletics for pitching prospects J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller. 

More on Chris Bassitt: Mets acquire ace Chris Bassitt from Oakland

The 33-year-old is in the midst of the finest stretch of his career, punctuated by a 2021 campaign that saw him pick up a first-ever All-Star appearance while going 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA with 159 strikeouts in 157.1 innings of work. He also posted career bests in WHIP (1.055), strikeouts per nine innings (9.1), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.08).

Last season also saw Bassitt post career-lows in opponent’s batting average (.218) and opponents on-base percentage (.278). He also had the fifth-lowest batting average allowed (.185) on 4-seam fastballs in 2021 among starting pitchers, per ESPN. 

Over the past four seasons from 2018-2021, Bassitt has posted 162-game averages of a 13-6 record, 3.23 ERA, 183 strikeouts, and a 1.141 WHIP in 191.0 innings — a workload that would obviously not be feasible considering last year saw him pitch a career-high in innings during a single season.

Bassitt did, however, work seven innings or more 11 times last year, which was tied for the fifth-most in baseball.

Jacob deGrom
Mets ace Jacob deGromAndy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

For a player that finished within the top-10 of the American League’s Cy Young Award voting in each of the last two seasons, Bassitt should have plenty of support in Queens where he’ll slot in as quite the capable No. 3 arm. Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer — the latter being acquired with a record-setting contract just before the Dec. 2 lockout — have the superstar capabilities to lead the rotation should they stay healthy, highlighting what looks as though it is one of the very best units in baseball heading toward the 2022 season.

“I don’t know if it’s the best, but it’s a really powerful top three,” owner Steve Cohen said on Sunday. “When you look and see deGrom, Scherzer, Bassitt, 1-2-3, that’s pretty exciting.”

Projected 2022 Mets rotation after Chris Bassitt trade with projected stats

  1. Jacob deGrom- 145 IP, 11-4, 2.42 ERA, 207 K’s
  2. Max Scherzer- 181 IP, 14-8, 3.23 ERA, 234 K’s
  3. Chris Bassitt- 154 IP, 11-7, 3.45 ERA, 149 K’s
  4. Carlos Carrasco- 115 IP, 7-7, 4.38 ERA, 116 K’s
  5. Taijuan Walker- 154 IP, 9-10, 4.56 ERA, 139 K’s

*Projections courtesy of RotoChamp