Chris Bassitt got his 2022 contract settled last weekend, and it contained an interesting addition.
In avoiding arbitration with the Mets, the pitcher received a contract worth $8.8 million that included a mutual option for next year worth $19 million. The buyout is $150,000. It means Bassitt’s deal for this year is calculated for luxury-tax purposes at $8.65 million.
It’s hard to imagine the mutual option will mean much of anything (such provisions in MLB contracts are seldom exercised). Bassitt, 33, can become a free agent after this season, and will seek a multi-year deal on the open market if the Mets don’t first extend him. On the flip side, if Bassitt were to sustain a serious injury that jeopardized his free agency and wanted to return, would the Mets retain him at $19 million?
But here’s two things to keep in mind about the mutual option and why the Mets probably insisted on including it in Bassitt’s 2022 deal: