Jeff Passan’s Twitter bio reads as follows: “ESPN. I bomb atomically.” This usually pertains to news he breaks on the ol’ bird app, but it doesn’t only happen there. In one of his recent articles talking about MLB’s impending free-agent class, he had some thoughts about three Mets players who could potentially be on the open market.
This includes right-handed pitchers Jacob deGrom and Chris Bassitt, along with outfielder Brandon Nimmo. Here’s the cliff notes version of Passan’s thoughts:
- DeGrom will “almost assuredly” surpass teammate Max Scherzer’s record average annual value of $43.3 million he earned from New York last winter.
- Nimmo — a Scott Boras client — will fetch more than the four-year, $78 million contract Starling Marte just signed this past offseason.
- Bassitt will be in “high demand”.
Of these three, the only one currently on track to actually be a free agent is Nimmo. DeGrom still has to opt out of his contract at the end of this season, and he’s been open about his plan on doing so. For Bassitt to enter the open market, he’ll have to turn down his side of a $19 million mutual option for 2023.
None of this is overly surprising. As deGrom stays healthy and continues to dominate every five days, it’s only a matter of time before he gets a significant raise. He’s racked up 49.1 innings pitched so far this season, but the righty has already posted 2.2 fWAR with a 2.01 ERA and a 41.5% strikeout rate. Over his last 141.1 innings since the start of 2021, deGrom’s ERA is at 1.40 with a 43.8% strikeout rate and 7.1 fWAR.
The biggest key for Nimmo heading into his walk year was to just stay healthy and on the field. That’s exactly what he’s done, which has led to his best year as a big leaguer since his breakout 2018 campaign. His 86 runs scored and 53 RBI are already career-high marks, while his 14 homers are on the verge of doing the same thing. The outfielder’s performance has been worth 4.4 fWAR.
After enjoying his own career year in 2021 with the Athletics, Bassitt has done more of the same under the bright lights of New York. His 3.44 ERA and 2.8 fWAR through 165 innings pitched have been reinforced by a solid second-half run of production. It’s also noteworthy that he’s the lone Mets starter who has qualified for the ERA title.
First and foremost, New York needs to figure out what the heck is going on with its sputtering offense during what was supposed to be the easy part of its schedule. As that happens, though, s small part of general manager Billy Eppler is most certainly also thinking about what’s ahead this winter. There are big decisions to be made, and the direction the Mets ultimately go will obviously play a huge role in the team’s immediate future.
Will any of these players be on the roster beyond 2022? Will all of them? We know team owner Steve Cohen has the ability to pay whomever he wants, so we’ll see what actually comes to pass.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.