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Friday, June 24, 2022

Chris Bassett and the Mets Agree on a One-Year $8.8 Million Deal: ‘I Love It Here’

DENVER – Chris Bassit was playing a game of chess in Adam Ottavino’s hotel room Friday night when his agent called him saying he had a place.

According to multiple reports, Bassit and the Mets avoided an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Monday, when the two sides agreed on a one-year, $8.8 million deal slated for 2022. The deal includes a mutual option for $19 million (or a $150,000 buyout) for 2023.

“What’s more, it’s not going to be a distraction to anyone,” Bassit said of surviving the trial. “It’s the biggest thing for me. … I like everyone here. I think we have a really great relationship here, and why even try to mess with him from afar?”

Bassit previously said at spring training, when the Mets struck a deal with all 13 arbitration-qualified players except the starting pitcher, that he “doesn’t give about his contact” and “that’s why I pay my agent.” Likewise, Bassit did not join the status of his contract until the 11th hour, when his camp reached an agreement with the Mets front office on Friday night.

The 33-year-old right-hander has thoroughly enjoyed his time in New York so far and says he is certainly up for a potential long-term extension with the Mets. But he is in no hurry to start that discussion while the club is at the start of a season that has the potential to end with a championship ring. GM Billy Epler and the Mets brass were traded for Bassit in March, sending JT Jin and Adam Oller to the Oakland Athletics in return.

“Many people are thinking short-term right now,” Bassit said. “We have such a special group that I don’t want to be distracted and hurt them in any way. I’m very happy if anything happens. I love being here. I’m here from everyone so far.” I’d love to be here longer, but I’m so focused on what this year and this team need right now that it’s hard to think of 2023, 2024, however many years.

“We have a real chance of winning the World Series, and I’m just wondering what it takes to put our team in the best place to do so.”

Otto Back at Coors

Adam Otavino pitched for the Rockies from 2012-2018. On Saturday, in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Coors Field, the right-handed reliever returned to his home of seven years for the first time in four seasons.

“I was excited the moment we got off the plane,” Otavino said.

Ottavino relieved Carlos Carrasco in the sixth inning on Saturday, with first and second place runners up and the Mets taking a five-run lead. He allowed one of his inherited runners to score, which went on Carrasco’s bookkeeping, but worked his way up to 0.2 innings of work.

Part of the reason Otavino was able to find success was because of his familiarity with the altitude at Coors Field, a ballpark located about a mile above sea level. His 206 innings, entering Coors on Saturday, allowed him to get comfortable with the challenges other pitchers struggle with. Carrasco said he found it difficult to breathe during his 5.1 innings outing against the Rockies.

“You have to adjust every time,” Otavino said. “You have to embrace it. Change your vision a bit because some of your pitches aren’t going to have that much amount of breaks. It’s different with every guy and every pitch type.

“I know my sinker isn’t going to be that good here. So I have to start it at a different place than sea level. But my slider is playing pretty well here, so I’m up to it. But every man’s Mixtures are different, so they should detect it and not deny it.”

megil progress

Tyler Magill (right biceps bursitis) is gearing up to play a game of catch this weekend. He is on the injured list for 15 days from a week. The Mets and Magill had agreed to suspend the starter from throwing so the next time he played a catch he would pick up the ball first as he went to the IL. Megil will need to start at least one rehab before rejoining the rotation, so he’s still nowhere close to being active.

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World Nation News Desk
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