The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed with former New York Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt on a three-year, $63 million deal, ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal report. The deal is pending a physical, per the reports.
Bassitt, 33, played a single season with the Mets in 2022, posting a 3.42 ERA and 1.145 WHIP with 167 strikeouts and 49 walks in 181 2/3 innings pitched. Previously, he played six seasons with the Oakland A‘s, with whom he was an All-Star in 2021 and received Cy Young votes in 2020 and ’21.
A right-hander, Bassitt relies primarily on his sinker while mixing in a cutter and four-seam fastball, among other pitches. He started 30 games with the Mets last season and 27 with the A’s in 2021.
Bassitt was one of the most sought free-agent starters on the market and joins a Blue Jays team that finished second in the AL East last season, earning a wild-card bid with 92 wins. Bassitt will help anchor a rotation that features All-Stars Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman. He projects to fill the anticipated void left by starter Ross Stripling, who remains a free agent after playing on a one-year deal last season.
The AL East is expected to remain competitive in 2023, with the reigning division champion New York Yankees projected as favorites again. The Blue Jays might be the top challengers in a division in which the Tampa Bay Rays and emerging Baltimore Orioles are expected to compete.