1) LA Angels free agent target to pursue: Chris Bassitt
I have been on the Chris Bassitt hype train all offseason and will continue to be until he becomes an Angel. The Angels need another starter to add to their promising rotation and Bassitt is the right man for that role.
Bassitt isn't as flashy as the big names available in free agency. He's no Jacob deGrom. He's not as good as Carlos Rodon or Justin Verlander either. He is however an extremely consistent and affordable arm for Los Angeles to pursue.
Bassitt doesn't blow hitters away with his stuff. But his stuff is why he's so good. Allow me to explain. He throws six different pitches at least 6% of the time. He has different variations of those pitches as well. He's constantly mixing speeds and messing with hitters timing. That's what makes him so good.
He doesn't have the 99 mph fastball that Ohtani and deGrom have, but they don't have the variety of pitches he has.
Bassitt went 15-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 30 starts for the Mets this past season. Before his season with the Mets, he was in Oakland where he finished in the top ten in the AL Cy Young balloting for two consecutive seasons.
Bassitt has been really good for years now, just nobody talks about him.
He's a guy who will give you six or seven innings allowing two or three runs. He's as consistent as it gets when it comes to quality starts. Had it not been for a comebacker to the face in 2021 or a stint on the COVID list in 2022, he would've made every start in each of the past three seasons.
Signing Bassitt won't be as expensive as deGrom, Rodon, or Verlander. But, the Angels know exactly what they'd get out of him. In a rotation full of young pitchers who you don't really know what you'll get from outside of Ohtani, Bassitt would be a massive addition.
He'd allow the Angels to sign other players to complete the roster instead of just focusing on one star like in years past. I think Bassitt would be a home run signing and would make the Angels rotation extremely formidable.