The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth $63 million with free-agent starter Chris Bassitt, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Bassitt is the second notable Blue Jays addition in recent days, joining outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who signed with Toronto over the weekend.
Bassitt, 34 years old come February, spent last season with the New York Mets. He posted a 3.42 ERA (113 ERA+) and a 3.41 strikeout-to-walk ratio in a career-high 181 innings. (His previous single-season best was 157 innings.) For his career, he's accumulated a 3.45 ERA and a 2.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Bassitt entered the offseason ranked as the 13th-best free agent by CBS Sports. Here's what we wrote at the time:
Bassitt will turn 34 years old in February, suggesting he'll have to settle for a higher rate over a shorter term. Fair enough. He shouldered a career-high workload in his first season with the Mets, crossing the 160-inning threshold for the first time in the big leagues. When most people think about Bassitt, they think about the unusual mechanics that end with him dipping his glove low and away from his body. Not us. We're Students of the Game who instead think about all the potential dog puns offered by his surname. We also, ahem, think about his contact-management skills. Bassitt has good command over a deep arsenal that includes three fastball variants and a pair of breaking balls. Some pitchers are fortunate if they can spin the ball east and west, Bassitt can do that and put backspin on the ball, giving him a trove of looks.
The Blue Jays had been linked to a few other free agent starters, including Kodai Senga, who just signed with the Mets. Coincidentally, Senga joining the Mets likely closed the door on Bassitt returning to New York, in turn creating momentum for this deal.
Bassitt will likely slot into the middle of a Blue Jays rotation that also includes Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, and José Berríos.