The Toronto Blue Jays upgraded their starting rotation Monday and reportedly signed veteran right-hander Chris Bassitt to a three-year deal.
Bassitt’s deal is worth $63 million pending his physical, according to ESPN.
With lineups stacked throughout the AL East, it takes a solid rotation to be successful. Toronto recognizes him and already has Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman and Hyun Jin Ryu. Jose Berrios is also in the rotation, though he’s struggled since he signed his $131 million contract before last season.
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Now they add Bassitt to the mix, and consistency is the name of their game. Over the past two seasons, Bassitt’s combined ERA is 3.29 in 339 innings of work on the mound. He also totaled 326 strikeouts in that span.
Bassitt does his job with precision in a league that has flamethrowers left and right. He worked a fastball in the 92-94 mph range, but also features a cutter, slider, curveball and changeup, all with precision.
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Bassitt was traded to the New York Mets before the start of the 2022 campaign when the Oakland A’s blew up their roster (Matt Olson was also sent to the Atlanta Braves as part of the rebuild). He signed an $8.8 million, one-year contract with a $19 million mutual option for the 2023 season, which avoided arbitration.
However, after declining that option, as well as the qualifying offer, Bassitt relied on his strong 2022 numbers to land a bigger deal in free agency.
While the Mets liked what Bassitt offered last season, they’ve already spent big with Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana and Japanese star Kodai Senga joining the rotation. But Bassitt collects an average annual value of $21 million on his new contract with the Blue Jays.
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Like Bassitt, starter Taijuan Walker left the Mets’ rotation to sign elsewhere, joining the Philadelphia Phillies on a four-year, $72 million contract.
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The Blue Jays went 92-70 last season, earning themselves a wild-card berth in the American League. They would fall to the Seattle Mariners in the three game series.