The LA Angels have been at the forefront of trade talk discussions for Luis Castillo, but there's another All-Star starting pitcher that CBS Sports and The Athletic baseball analyst Jim Bowden said the Halos "have had conversations with Oakland about."
Chris Bassitt is that guy. (Bowden also said that the Halos have been talking to Oakland about Frankie Montas.) And Bassitt may be more attainable than Castillo, because Cincinatti reportedly would rather keep Castillo.
It's why a certain tweet from Bleacher Nation caught my eye when it was sent to a group chat I'm in. I couldn't stop thinking about Bassitt ever since I saw this tweet:
If the LA Angels could poach 1 other AL West player for the team in 2022, they would be poaching Chris Bassitt.
The LA Angels are reportedly already going after Chris Bassitt, and he'd be the perfect answer if the question in the above tweet was about the Halos. Stealing Bassitt from the A's could urge them to just finally sell the whole team. They may finally deal Chapman, Olson, Montas...everybody.
So while it would mean that the Halos would have one less team in the division to worry about, it would also give them a No. 1 or 2 starter. And that's what Bassitt would be. A 2021 All-Star, Bassitt has truly been lights out these past two seasons.
Recording a 2.90 ERA, a 1.085 WHIP, and a 142 ERA+, Bassitt has become one of the A's best and most consistent arms. He was good in 2018 too, he just didn't stay healthy for more than 25 starts and 28 total appearances. He's proved to be durable in these last two years, however, throwing 220.1 innings in 38 starts.
If the Halos could trade for Bassit, the rotation actually becomes pretty interesting. It would look like this:
1. Shohei Ohtani/Chris Bassitt
2. Shohei Ohtani/Chris Bassitt
3. Noah Syndergaard
4. Patrick Sandoval
5. Jose Suarez
6. Michael Lorenzen
While Lorenzen is a question mark, the rest of that rotation would be very good, and the Halos would still have more money to go improve the bullpen OR even bring in a Carlos Rodon or Clayton Kershaw in free agency. Remember, taking on Bassitt's contract would mean we'd be taking on just $8.8 million and it would put our payroll at just over $170 million. That's enough money to even land one of those top two free agent options, AND make a signing or two to improve the pen.
Also, if we land Bassitt and Rodon/Kershaw we would then move Lorenzen to the bullpen, which he quietly has been solid out of in his career (17-13 record, 3.74 ERA). If the Angels do end up trading for Bassitt, this pitching staff could end up looking VERY good VERY fast.