Sunday, March 13, 2022
It didn’t take long for the Mets to make a move. Now that the sport has finally settled on a new collective bargaining agreement, one of MLB’s likely top pitching staffs just got a little better. On Saturday it was announced that New York and Oakland completed a trade, sending right-hander Chris Bassitt to the Mets in exchange for prospects J.T. Ginn (RHP) and Adam Oller (RHP).
The 33-year-old Bassitt joins a Mets staff that already includes Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco – a quartet of arms that ZiPS projects to tally 13.3 fWAR during the upcoming season. You can tack on another 2.2 WAR as a projected total for Bassitt in 2022, who FanGraphs expects to finish with a 3.69 ERA over 139 innings. That collective projected total of 15.5 WAR for the Mets’ top five starters is definitely impressive; however, the reigning World Series champion Braves were also given a healthy projection by FG back in January, coming in at 15.4 in overall WAR from the five-man rotation of Max Fried (4.6), Charlie Morton (3.9), Ian Anderson (3.3), Huascar Ynoa (2.0) and Mike Soroka (1.6). New York is making some savvy moves for sure, but we shouldn’t overlook what’s returning on the mound in Atlanta.
In what’s been a busy offseason for the rival Mets, Bassitt will surely help lengthen NY’s pitching staff. The household names mentioned above have the reputation of carrying a team’s rotation, though at the same time, guys like Scherzer, Carrasco and Walker are also known for poor luck in the health department. Having Bassitt in the mix should help the Mets in the event any of its top three or four arms goes down with an injury. MLB Trade Rumors also notes that Tylor Megill and David Peterson — two guys in their mid-20s with middling success in the majors – can now be deployed as spot starters or long relievers, a more viable role for a pair that has combined to pitch to just a 4.58 ERA across 206 career major league innings.
The Braves made somewhat of a similar move (in terms of lengthening its rotation) by extending the veteran Morton to a one-year, $20 million contract back in early September of last year. The nearly-40-year-old righty has been a stalwart (ESPN’s words) for the Bravos so far, posting a 3.47 ERA in 28 starts overall, accompanied by a 13-5 record. The uncertainty of Soroka’s health, plus question marks regarding the long-term effectiveness of the younger arms like Ynoa, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, Kyle Wright and even Spencer Strider, bringing Morton back allows the Braves to roster at least three proven starting pitchers in 2022, joined by Fried and Anderson. As we witnessed during last year’s postseason, that trio can go up against any of the best lineups in baseball.
The Braves-Mets rivalry will certainly be a storyline to follow this coming season as it appears New York and Atlanta are setting up to be the top dogs of the NL East. The Mets just got a little better this weekend, but we’ll see how the Braves counter as it decides whether to hang on to franchise player Freddie Freeman. Regardless, thank the Lord baseball is officially back!