The Toronto Blue Jays upgraded their starting rotation Monday, reportedly signing veteran right-hander Chris Bassitt to a three-year deal.
Bassitt’s deal is worth $63 million pending his physical, per ESPN.
With stacked lineups throughout the AL East, a solid rotation is needed to succeed. Toronto recognizes that and already boasts Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman and Hyun Jin Ryu. Jose Berrios is also in the rotation, though he struggled since signing his $131 million deal prior to last season.
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Now they add Bassitt to the mix, and consistency is the name of his game. Over the past two seasons, Bassitt’s combined ERA is 3.29 over 339 innings of work on the mound. He’s also totaled 326 strikeouts over that span.
Bassitt gets his job done with accuracy in a league that has flamethrowers left and right on the bump. He worked a fastball in the 92-94 miles per hour range, but he also features a cutter, slider, curveball and changeup – all with precision.
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Bassitt was traded to the New York Mets prior to the start of the 2022 campaign as the Oakland Athletics blew up their roster (Matt Olson was also sent to the Atlanta Braves as part of the rebuild). He signed a one-year deal for $8.8 million 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 solid 2022 numbers to get a bigger deal in free agency.
While the Mets liked what Bassitt offered last season, they have already spent big with Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana and Japanese star Kodai Senga joining the rotation. But Bassitt cashes in with a $21 million average annual value on his new deal with the 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 deal.
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The Blue Jays sported a 92-70 record last season, earning themselves an American League wild-card berth. They would fall to the Seattle Mariners in the three-game series.