Oakland A’s All-Star pitcher Chris Bassitt is a great fit for St. Louis Cardinals via trade, but it will require a haul to acquire him.
After the MLB lockout ends, and who knows when that will be, the St. Louis Cardinals have plenty of shopping to do. Relief pitchers. More offensive firepower and depth. And also adding another starting pitcher.
The starting pitcher likely would not be a high-end rotation arm, certainly nothing like the four-year, $44 million deal that they signed Steven Matz to.. Think Jon Lester type or something along those lines. But if the Cardinals did splurge on a starting pitcher, Katie Woo of The Athletic believes that Oakland A’s right-hander Chris Bassitt would be a “great fit.”
Bassitt, 33, fits a lot of what the Cardinals look for. He has very good control – he doesn’t walk many batters – and posted a 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings last season. He went 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA despite missing a month after being hit by a line drive in the head. But if he was able to post those numbers in Oakland, it’s fair to wonder what he and his six-pitch arsenal would do behind the Cardinals’ elite infield defense and with the spacious outfields of Busch Stadium.
The odds Bassitt ends up in St. Louis, however, are incredibly small. A pitcher of his caliber will require a haul, and the A’s front office will surely ask for one of Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore or Jordan Walker as the headliner in any Bassitt trade. To date, that has been an immediate non-starter for president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, and his stance on that has not changed. If anything, it has only grown stronger.
Gorman will debut early in 2022, and be their second baseman of the future. Liberatore will also debut in 2022 and be a large part of their long-term rotation. Walker, meanwhile, is regarded as their best prospect of all and while he will debut as early as 2023, is someone the organization views as their most talented prospect in almost a decade.
Still, it’s fun to think about a rotation headlined by Jack Flaherty, Bassitt and Liberatore for the next few seasons. The chances of that happening, though, are small – and even that might be too optimistic.