It’s officially MLB offseason and the free agency rumors are rampant. Since AJ Pollock’s contract news, the Chicago White Sox have options to explore and decisions to make that go beyond the batting order.
With the uncertainty surrounding Johnny Cueto’s White Sox return, Chris Bassitt is the most appealing pitcher on the market for the White Sox. Bassitt’s appeal ranges from his execution on the mound, the kind of starting pitcher he is, and keeping the franchise strong in the division.
Bassitt’s career started by getting drafted by the White Sox in 2011. As an under-the-radar pitcher, he was drafted in the 16th round at pick 501. His career in the south side of Chicago was night and day because he was traded in 2014 for Jeff Samardzija, along with infielder Marcus Siemen.
The Bay area is where Bassitt got to grow and hit his stride as an impactful pitcher on the mound. Even though the Athletics could not bring Bassitt a ton of winning glory, he has a 3.44 ERA for his tenure with the Athletics.
His shining moment in Oakland happened in 2021 when he hit a then career-high of 159 strikeouts. Bassitt has a lot of pitches in his arsenal that leaves hitters guessing at the plate and reduces scoring chances for the opposition.
The Chicago White Sox should consider bringing Chris Bassitt back.
Since leaving the west coast for the New York Mets, Bassitt has shown that he is a seasoned veteran in the game who can still be a reliable arm in the starting rotation with solid numbers to prove it.
In his 2022 season, Bassitt hit his current career-high and landed in second place on the Mets in the strikeout category. He finished out the year with 167 and a 3.42 ERA on the season.
Without him, the New York Mets would have had a gaping hole in the starting rotation. Bassitt showed up for them, adding strength to their rotation while dealing with several injuries from Jacob DeGrom and Taijuan Walker.
Acquiring a pitcher like Bassitt who knows his game and has a grip on the needs of a starting pitcher is essential to avoid losing momentum on the mound. Currently, the forecast for Johnny Cueto and the White Sox is looking unlikely.
Therefore, signing Bassitt who matches up to him quite well in comparison, helps the team and ensures the possibility of high-level pitching. Bassitt and Cueto are both right-handed pitchers who have similar stats but Bassitt gets the edge in the strikeout category.
In comparison, Cueto hit 102 strikeouts for the year and regressed in the second half of the season. Post-All-Star, Cueto dealt a 3.84 ERA, as opposed to Bassit’s 2.94 ERA.
It is significant that Bassitt tightened up on the mound close to the postseason because those are games that can make or break a team down the line.
Another solid reason for the White Sox to go after Bassitt is his costs is equal to his value. He is not going to be a starting pitcher who is a wildcard for the franchise.
He is someone who can come in, reignite dominance on the mound, and mentor younger players on the team. Bassitt did not arrive in New York and not deliver.
He proved that he is still a decent commodity in the league and it would be a full-circle moment for the White Sox to sign him after his formative years away.