Mets have yet another pitching target in sight who isn’t Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets are keeping focused on another free agent pitcher that’s not Jacob deGrom.

The New York Mets had one of the more active offseasons last year, highlighted by the team bringing in ace Max Scherzer. Those signings helped play a role in the team clinching a postseason berth for the first time since 2016 under new manager Buck Showalter in his first season. This winter, the team watches as ace Jacob deGrom enters free agency.

While deGrom is one name that is worth keeping an eye on, the Mets are also setting their focus on another starting pitcher.

According to ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan (subscription required), the Mets are “hoping for a return” of starting pitcher Chris Bassitt. Passan writes that Bassitt could potentially sign a deal during the MLB winter meetings Sunday, Dec. 4 until Wednesday, Dec. 7 in San Diego, Calif.

Mets reportedly ‘hoping for a return’ of Chris Bassitt

Bassitt was one of New York’s big acquisitions alongside Scherzer and Oakland Athletics outfielder Starling Marte. The team acquired Bassitt from the A’s in exchange for pitching prospects J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller to round out their starting rotation alongside deGrom, Scherzer, Taijuan Walker, and Carlos Carrasco.

In his first season with the Mets, Bassitt recorded career-highs with 15 wins, 167 strikeouts, and 181.2 innings pitched in 30 starts (also a career-high). The right-handed pitcher posted a 3.42 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP.

After their season ended on an elimination by the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Round, the Mets gave Bassitt a one-year, $19.6 million qualifying offer, which the pitcher declined.

The Winter Meetings will be worth monitoring. While Mets fans will be waiting to see if deGrom will re-sign, they may want to keep their eyes on the Bassitt front to see if he returns to Queens on a new contract.