5) MLB free agent Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt
Chris Bassitt falls just a hair ahead of Walker on the list of National League East free agents. A fellow Mets starting pitcher, he’s having himself a strong showing in year one with the team.
Bassitt does have a mutual option for next season worth $19 million. It’s somewhat odd, though. What circumstances would cause the Mets to want him back for such a large amount on only a one-year contract and also include Bassitt accepting such a short-term deal?
Bassitt will only get one shot at free agency in his career. Already 33, he has pitched himself into a possibly three or four-year contract this winter. Whether it’s the Mets or another team that ends up awarding him with this type of deal, it feels like a given he’ll turn down his part of the mutual option for next season in favor of testing free agency.
From his days with the Oakland Athletics and 2022 season with the Mets, Bassitt has been consistent. His age might work against him slightly. He’ll get some nice cash but perhaps not as much if he was younger.
Reliability is one of the best abilities a starting pitcher can bring to the field. A far more impressive starting pitcher than almost everyone else in the division, it’s fair to consider him the fifth best National League East free agent this offseason.