The Chris Bassitt trade was a necessary move by the New York Mets to fortify their starting rotation. They were about to enter the 2022 season with a rotation of four experienced starters and most likely either Tylor Megill or David Peterson in the number five spot.
Post-lockout, the biggest move the Mets made was the trade with the Oakland Athletics to land Bassitt. A move they needed to make, it’s looking a lot more important with the Jacob deGrom news.
deGrom will miss significant time. What is significant? We know he’ll be out of action of any kind for at least four weeks. That means a late-May return is the absolute earliest we could probably expect him back. More likely, it’s later.
Chris Bassitt jumps from number three starter to number two in the Mets starting rotation
The Mets won’t miss a beat at the top of their rotation with Max Scherzer around. They have a luxury few teams ever have. Even without the best pitcher in baseball around, they may still have the best pitcher on the mound for Opening Day. How amazing is that?
Equally as important are the performances the Mets will now require from Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker. Both disappointed in last year’s second half with Carrasco missing the entire first half and Walker going from All-Star to one something resembling Jason Vargas without the challenging reporters to fights.
Bassitt was already an asset. Losing deGrom, however, makes him far more valuable to the club. Any thoughts that the Mets may have overpaid for him should be tucked away into a sock drawer. The exact reason they needed a guy like him was because of this situation.
The Mets learned some hard lessons in 2021 about the importance of pitching depth. It seems to be a reminder way too often for this organization. In the recent past, their most successful runs have been when they’ve been able to keep everyone healthy and had enough starters to get them through a whole year. When things have gone awry, a big reason for it has been injuries to their starters and a lack of talent behind them on the depth chart.
We can consider the Mets fortunate to have the arms they do to fill in while deGrom is out. But ultimately, it’s the top starters who will decide how far the team can go. This includes Bassitt, the unassuming current number two starter in the Mets 2022 starting rotation.