The Mets are about to embark on a crucial offseason with lots of important roster decisions that need to be made. That’s mostly because New York has several impact players from its 101-win squad about to hit the open market. The pitching staff — especially the starting rotation — looks bare right now.
Max Scherzer is the only veteran who is currently guaranteed to return. Will Jacob deGrom and/or Chris Bassitt — the other two of the Mets’ top three starting hurlers — join him at Citi Field?
Mark Canha thinks they’ll *both* be back, which would be huge for manager Buck Showalter. The veteran outfielder, who just finished his own first season in Flushing, sat down for a conversation with Mike Puma of the New York Post. Among the topics discussed, Puma asked Canha about some of the Mets’ biggest internal free agents.
The 33-year-old said he has “no idea” where Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo are at, but he sounded more definitive when discussing deGrom and Bassitt.
Regarding the Mets’ two-time Cy Young Award winner, he said this:
Jake told me he wants to come back, too, and he really likes it here, too.
When it came to Bassitt, who was his teammate while with the Oakland Athletics, he said this:
I think Bassitt will be back. I’m not sure, but I think he really likes New York. And I think he likes the team. I think he likes the guys a lot. Kind of like me, it was such a very different — in a good way — experience from Oakland, and I think we both felt it. We’re so kind of pumped to be in the situation where we are … I think we both felt like we had a chance to win a World Series [in New York], so I think he really values that and being around the caliber of talent we have on the pitching staff. And I think he realizes that’s special, and I would like to believe he would want to run it back and do it again.
There were many times throughout the regular season when we saw many of New York’s starters hanging out and chatting in the dugout during games. Canha touched on that when discussing his hopes for deGrom returning:
I think Jake and Max [Scherzer] and Bassitt have a really good friendship they have developed over this year and good professional relationship, too.
Regarding deGrom, this is just another piece of evidence that the ace wants to remain in Flushing. Of course, he said it himself back in March when discussing his opt-out. It was confirmed again by Zack Wheeler in October. General manager Billy Eppler has also made it sound like both parties are on good terms.
The trio of Scherzer, deGrom and Bassitt couldn’t deliver at the end of the year against the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres. However, they were a crucial part of the Mets’ regular-season success in 2022.
What could it cost to re-sign both deGrom and Bassitt? MLB insider Jon Heyman employed an “outside expert” to give some contract predictions for the game’s biggest free agents. DeGrom’s prediction came in at three years and $125 million, while Bassitt’s was three years, $66 million.