NL East Notes: Bassitt, Harper, Marlins, Meyer, Ramirez

Both Chris Bassitt and Mets GM Billy Eppler declined to comment on whether any contract extension talks had taken place between the two sides, though a source tells The New York Post’s Joel Sherman that “nothing has been explored yet.”  Since Bassitt is slated to become a free agent after the season, it would be a little surprising to see him sign an extension before testing the market for the first time, particularly since the righty is building a strong case for a pricey multi-year contract this winter.  Over his first 31 innings in a Mets uniform, Bassitt has a 2.61 ERA, 28.1% strikeout rate, and 6.6% walk rate.

Locking up Bassitt would help the Mets solidify their 2023 rotation, as Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker could all be free agents this winter.  An extension would also allow Bassitt and the team to avoid the shorter-term problem of an arbitration hearing set for May 23.  While this could be the 33-year-old Bassitt’s best (or only) chance to sign a big multi-year deal, he might prefer to just stay in New York if the Mets were to offer him such a deal right now, and the Mets have certainly shown they’re willing to spend for premium talent.  For his part, Bassitt said that he has enjoyed pitching for the Mets and that he’d be open to extension talks.

More from around the NL East…

  • Bryce Harper has been bothered by a mild right elbow strain for several weeks now, though’s Todd Zolecki tweets that “nothing really has changed” following Harper’s latest visit with a team doctor.  It isn’t known when Harper will try throwing again, so the reigning NL MVP will continue to serve as the Phillies’ designated hitter.  Harper hasn’t played right field since April 16, but has still been productive (.288/.307/.542 with three home runs) over 62 plate appearances as a DH-only player.
  • Elieser Hernandez allowed five earned runs in four innings against the Diamondbacks today, boosting the struggling Marlins right-hander’s ERA to 6.66 over 24 1/3 innings this season.  This outing won’t end speculation about whether the Marlins could promote top prospect Max Meyer to replace Hernandez in the rotation, and Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of The Miami Herald write that the Fish are likelier to use Meyer as a starter than as a reliever whenever Meyer gets the call for his MLB debut.  “The organization still is a big believer in Hernandez,” according to Jackson/Mish, but that doesn’t mean the Marlins couldn’t opt to move Hernandez to the pen to accommodate Meyer.  A trade also can’t be ruled out, since Hernandez has drawn interest from other teams in the past.  For now, Meyer could be Miami’s top choice for an immediate rotation fill-in, since Braxton Garrett, Edward Cabrera, and Sixto Sanchez are all rehabbing injuries.
  • Also from Jackson and Mish, the Marlins were among the teams who talked with the Guardians about a possible Jose Ramirez trade prior to Ramirez’s new contract extension.  “No serious discussions took place” between Cleveland and Miami, and it was known that the Guards were asking for a huge return in any deal.  The Marlins’ young pitching depth arguably made them one of the teams that could have realistically met the Guardians’ big asking price, though it’s all a moot point now that Ramirez has been extended.

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