The Mets’ offseason was touted as one of the best in recent memory by many, largely in part due to the acquisition of three-time Cy Young winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer. When the organization completed a trade that sent a pair of pitching prospects, J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller, for right-hand starting pitcher Chris Bassitt of the Oakland Athletics, fans weren’t making much noise.
But this trade may prove to be the most important get for the Mets this season.
Bassitt is set to be a free agent in 2023 and the Mets need to make it a priority to extend him. In his first six starts, Bassitt remains level-headed on the mound, with a 4-2 record and 2.45 ERA with 10 earned runs and 38 strikeouts in 36.2 innings pitched.
The 33-year-old pitcher made it known how he feels playing in Flushing for the Mets.
“From my standpoint, I am very surprised at how much I like it here, to be honest,” Bassitt told Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Along with his strong outings, Bassitt won over the hearts of Mets fans after saying, “I don’t care who you are. I’m coming after you,” in regard to striking out Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals in his first start as Met.
“I faced (Shohei) Ohtani a lot, I faced (Mike) Trout a lot. I don’t care about the name on the back of your jersey, I’m coming. That’s been my mentality no matter who I face. I know he’s probably the best hitter in the world, but I don’t care.”
Bassitt has been an integral part of the starting rotation, especially with two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom being on the injured list with a stress reaction in his throwing arm. Bassitt, who was going to be the No. 3 pitcher in the rotation, has performed well above expectations, and it would behoove the organization to extend him.
The Mets and Bassitt have not yet agreed on a 2022 salary and are due to have an arbitration hearing on May 23. Bassitt and his team are looking for $9 million, while the Mets countered with $8.3 million. In fact, Bassitt is the only player out of 14 arbitration-eligible players to not agree to a deal.
Despite the lack of a solidified salary, Bassitt does not care about his contract situation.
“My entire outlook is I care about baseball, I don’t give a s—t about my contract,” Bassitt told reporters after his first intrasquad outing in March. “That’s why I pay my agent. My agent gets to fight with the front office and that’s it. I don’t care, I care about winning and having fun with these guys.”
(Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
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