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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Chris Bassitt

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Three Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The Blue Jays signed Chris Bassitt to a 3-year, $63 million contract on December 12th.

Bassitt is a right-handed pitcher who turns 34 in February. He’s pitched in the majors for the last eight seasons for the White Sox, A’s and Mets. But he’s only been ‘good’ for the past four seasons.

Over those four seasons, he has a 3.31 ERA in 96 games, 93 starts, with a 42 and 20 record. In 546 innings, he’s allowed 152 walks with 522 strikeouts.

Last year Bassitt had a 15-9 record, 3.42 ERA, with 49 walks and 167 strikeouts. Batters hit .234/.297/.356 against him. He was much better vs. RHB (.592 OPS) than LHB (.735).

He seems to be happy to with the Blue Jays:

And so are we:

Ben Clemens, in his Top 50 Free Agents post said:

In recent years, the start of free agency often coincides with a discussion about baseball’s shrinking middle class. The stars get theirs, young players sign extensions, and the solid veterans who fit in between those two groups see smaller and smaller shares of the pie. That’s a true story in the aggregate, but it’s easy to over-generalize. Bassitt, for example, likely won’t fall victim to it.

Everyone always needs more pitching. There’s no rotation in all of baseball where Bassitt wouldn’t fit. He won’t be an ace. He might not be a no. 2 starter. But those are just labels, and no team goes into the offseason saying “no. 2 starter or bust.” Bassitt will give whichever team signs him a bunch of innings, and above average ones at that. That might sound like the middle class that’s been getting squeezed, but bankable starting pitching is exempt from the crush. It’s at a premium every single year. I don’t know where Bassitt will end up, but a staggering number of teams could use his services.

So Chris won’t be our number one starter or our number two starter. Still, we need someone who can throw a bunch of innings and be above average (for those of you old enough to remember the TV show M*A*S*H, one of my favourite bits is when Hotlips, in a moment of passion, says to Frank Burns “Oh, Frank. You’re so above average.”).

Bassitt throws a bunch of pitches: Sinker, Cutter, Curve, Fourseam Fastball, Curve and Change. The Fastball isn’t all that fast, it averaged 93.3 mph last year, but if he threw it 98, he likely wouldn’t be throwing five other pitches.

He doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, so our ‘improved defense’ will be tested. Above an average pitcher, good defense, and, hopefully, excellent offense, should add up to a bunch of wins.

Chris will be 34 this season, but he didn’t come into his own until his age 30 season. Pitchers who don’t throw a ton of innings in their 20s tend to do well in their 30s.

Streamer predicts Bassitt to make 31 starts, be 11-10, with a 3.99 ERA in 180 innings.


If the over/under on Bassitt’s innings pitched is 180 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    (158 votes)
  • 49%
    (155 votes)
313 votes total Vote Now


If the over/under on Bassitt’s wins is 11 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    (285 votes)
  • 11%
    (38 votes)
323 votes total Vote Now


If the over/under on Bassitt’s ERA is 3.99 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    (62 votes)
  • 80%
    (256 votes)
318 votes total Vote Now