Mets’ starter Chris Bassitt is expected to decline his $19MM mutual option per Jon Heyman of the NY Post. Bassitt will receive a $150K buyout and head to free agency for the first time in his career.
Following a trade from the Athletics, Bassitt agreed to a one-year, $8.65MM contract with a $19MM mutual option for the 2023 season ($150K buyout if either team declined) in his final trip through the arbitration process. During his first season with New York, the 8-year veteran led the Mets in starts (30) and innings pitched (181 2/3) while pitching to a 3.42 ERA with a 22.4% strikeout rate, 6.6% walk rate, and a 49.1% groundball rate.
Bassitt, who will be 34 on Opening Day, has been a reliable pitcher over the last four seasons. Since 2019, he has made at least 27 starts (excluding the 2020 season) paired with a 3.31 ERA in 546 innings, a 23.2% strikeout rate, a 6.7% walk rate, and a 44.1% groundball rate.
On the heels of a strong season, the Mets will likely attach a Qualifying Offer to Bassitt (a one-year, $19.65MM contract). While this sum is more than double what Bassitt was paid in 2022, he will likely opt to find a longer contract with an annual salary similar to the value of the QO.
As for the Mets, they enter the 2022-23 offseason with big questions surrounding their rotation. Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and former All-Star Taijuan Walker both hold player options that they are expected to decline, and the Mets hold a $14MM club option on Carlos Carrasco’s 2023 services that they must make a decision on in the next few days. Tylor Megill is a candidate to fill one of the spots in the rotation, but owner Steve Cohen will likely open his wallet again this offseason to buff his team’s starting pitching.