Chris Bassitt’s agents told the Mets that if they had to go to an arbitration hearing, Bassitt would not talk about an extension with them, but ultimately the sides agreed at $8.8 million. Good thing, as Bassitt looks like a personality fit for New York.
Bassitt’s target will be in the $23 million-$25 million range (ex-Mets Zack Wheeler/Marcus Stroman money). … The Mets’ depth — better than most believed with Tylor Megill, David Peterson and Trevor Williams — is getting tested now. They scouted Tyler Mahle and Frankie Montas and other starters, but ultimately may target more relievers.
Some logical landing spots for Brandon Nimmo include the Mariners, Rangers, Phillies, Cubs and, of course, the Mets. Nimmo enhanced his free-agent status with an excellent start following his strong 2021 season.
Joel Sherman listed a wide range of comps — including Brett Gardner’s worthwhile $52 million deal and Jacoby Ellsbury’s regrettable $153 million deal — but Nimmo’s agent Scott Boras will point out that even Ellsbury’s deal was eight years ago. … With Aaron Hicks’ continuing struggles, could Nimmo fit the Yankees, too? … The Yankees still haven’t contacted true Yankee Gardner, who turned down $5 million from Toronto and $6 million from Atlanta. (Hat tip to Ken Rosenthal.)
Based on other Mariners giveaways, JP Sears becomes a star. Mariners’ throw-ins have a history of succeeding. Sears came with another for reliever Nick Rumbelow. Freddy Peralta went for Adam Lind, Ryan Yarborough for Drew Smyly (he never pitched for them), early Cy Young contender Pablo Lopez for David Phelps and Chris Taylor for Zach Lee. The Mariners lead the league in churning.
The belief is that the Cubs are expected to spend again next winter following a season of mostly piecemeal signings. Seiya Suzuki and Marcus Stroman were obviously exceptions. … Willson Contreras will be a popular trade target, and one exec predicts, “The Cubs will want an arm and a leg.”
Joc Pederson looks like the buy of the year at $6.5 million. Word is, he left money on the table to go home (Palo Alto H.S.) and sign with Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler, who Pederson knew from L.A. Kyle Schwarber, who got $79 million, looks like a fair comp (Schwarber had a great platform year and always plays vs. lefties, but Pederson is a better defender and even better in the postseason, and the disparity is stark).
Kris Bryant “will be fine,” Rockies GM Bill Schmidt said, adding he expects him back in two to three weeks. … The other half of Bryzzo, Anthony Rizzo looks like a strong opt-out candidate with $16 million to go for 2023. Of course, if there’s still qualifying offers, the Yankees could saddle him with one. (Hopefully, they can agree on an international draft which would end the QO system.)