Giants Considering Chris Bassitt – MLB Trade Rumors

The Giants “appear to have interest in” free agent right-hander Chris Bassitt, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.  Checking in on Bassitt would track with the Giants’ general interest in starting pitching this winter, as they have also been linked to Carlos Rodon, Kodai Senga, Sean Manaea, and Shintaro Fujinami this winter, and plus Andrew Heaney before Heaney with the Rangers.

There haven’t been too many rumblings on Bassitt to date, though he entered the offseason as one of the top pitching options on the market.  MLBTR rated Bassitt as the fifth-best starter available this winter (and 13th overall on our Top 50 Free Agents list), and of the four pitchers placed ahead of Bassitt, only Rodon and Senga remain, while Jacob deGrom signed with the Rangers and Justin Verlander joined the Mets.

In signing Verlander and Jose Quintana, the Mets have already found rotation replacements for deGrom and Taijuan Walker.  Bassitt and the Mets had some mutual interest in a reunion before the offseason began, and given how aggressive New York has been in adding free agents and building payroll, it wouldn’t count as a surprise if the team splurged again to bring Bassitt back to Queens.

That said, recent reports suggest that the Mets don’t have interest in giving Bassitt anything more than three guaranteed years, and the right-hander is still looking for at least a four-year contract.  Bassitt’s desire for such a lengthy commitment might also be a reason why the pitching-needy Blue Jays have only limited interest for now.  The qualifying offer is also surely a factor, as Bassitt rejected the Mets’ QO, and thus any team who signs the righty will have to give up draft compensation.

The Mets and Blue Jays have been the only teams known to have any interest in Bassitt, but it’s probably fair to guess that several other teams in need of pitching have at least made some calls to Bassitt’s reps at Meister Sports Management.  After all, Bassitt did post a 3.42 ERA/3.75 SIERA over 181 2/3 innings with New York last season, with an above-average 6.6% walk rate, a career-best 48.8% grounder rate, and excellent hard-contact numbers.

With top-ten finishes in AL Cy Young Award voting as a member of the Athletics in 2020-21, Bassitt is also from a one-year wonder, and he still projects as a solid starter heading into his age-34 season.  Just based on age alone, however, teams may be a little wary of going beyond a three-year deal, especially a Giants team that has traditionally looked to sign players (especially pitchers) to shorter-term contracts.  Under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, San Francisco has yet to sign a player to a deal beyond three years.

That said, the Giants did make a concerted effort to sign Aaron Judge this winter, and naturally that contract would’ve gone well beyond three years.  Judge and Bassitt represent very different free agents, yet if San Francisco is getting more aggressive in its pursuits this offseason, it is possible the club might be willing to consider a four-year deal if it’ll clinch a Bassitt signing.

With Logan Webb as the ace, Bassitt could slide into the No. 2 starter role, ahead of Alex Cobb, Alex Wood, and Anthony DeSclafani.  Adding another starter would allow the Giants to move Jakob Junis back into the preferred role of swingman, and Bassitt in particular would bring durability.  DeSclafani is a bit of a wild card after spending much of the 2022 season on the injured list, and Wood also has a long injury history.  Signing Bassitt would probably take San Francisco out of the running for Rodon, but since Rodon also turned down a qualifying offer, the Giants would get a compensatory pick back if Rodon signed elsewhere, somewhat offsetting the penalty they’d incur for signing Bassitt.

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