Following the addition of Max Scherzer, the Mets had one glaring need to reinforce the pitching staff, an SP3. Taijuan Walker was very inconsistent last year as he had an all-star first half to the season but a below-average second half.
Overall, Walker had a 4.47 ERA and 4.47 xFIP. That stat line is ideal for a fourth starter but would pose issues to the Mets if he had to be used as an SP3. To solve the issue of not having a third starting pitcher, the Mets traded for all-star Chris Bassitt. The return for Bassitt was a top 10 Mets prospect in JT Ginn and a less-known prospect in Adam Oller. Grades for this trade are listed below.
New York Mets: A-
Bassitt provides the Mets with an excellent SP3 as he would be an ace on most teams. The starter put up phenomenal stats last season on a struggling A’s team with a 3.15 ERA and 3.93 xFIP. Bassitt fills the hole Stroman left when he signed with the Cubs and can even be seen as an upgrade to Marcus. The only issue with this trade for the Mets is that Chris Bassitt is on the last year of his contract, he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2023. An extension could be worked out with Bassitt, but more importantly, this deal shows a “win now” mindset that the Mets front office has incorporated.
Oakland Athletics: B-
This deal likely signals the start of a fire-sale for Oakland, as Olson and Manaea are also likely to be traded soon. Trading for prospects will help accelerate the A’s rebuild, but Bassitt could definitely have drawn more value than they got. JT Ginn has shown a lot of upside in the Mets farm system, being ranked 4th by MLB Pipeline and 6th by Baseball America. Ginn had exceptional stats in low and high A, posting stat lines of
2021 A-: 2.56 ERA, 38? IP, 35 Ks, 10 BB, 3 HR, 3.78 FIP
2021 A+: 3.38 ERA, 53? IP, 46 Ks, 12 BB, 0 HR, 3.90 FIP
JT Ginn has been named the Mets Organizational Pitching Prospect of the Year by @MLBPipeline.
Ginn pitched to a 3.03 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and had 81 strikeouts over 92 innings with St. Lucie and Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/0O6jt2h05y
— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) October 5, 2021
Adam Oller has lurked in double and triple A and is coming off of a career year. Oller was a 20th round pick and has steadily improved in the minors. Oller was ranked 19th by Pipeline and 20th by Baseball America in the Mets system. His triple A stat line from last year was excellent and is listed below
2.45 ERA, 44 IP, 43 Ks, 18 BB, 1 HR, 3.34 FIP
More good stuff from Adam Oller tonight. Five scoreless, one hit, a couple of strikeouts.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) September 25, 2021
As I said before, the Athletics could have gotten more value for an ace-like starting pitcher. Many contenders that desperately needed a starter probably would have given up young major league talent for Bassitt, but Oakland settled for the two excellent prospects. The A’s are looking to rebuild, so it makes complete sense they would trade an older player (33) that is going into the last year of his contract. Both sides benefit from this deal, but clearly, the Mets filled a big hole in their roster and have one of the best SP3’s in the league.