Former Mets pitcher Steven Matz is someone I don’t anticipate to be pursued. Even though he had a good season with the Toronto Blue Jays, he isn’t among the top free agency starters.
After some initial whispers about who the New York Mets could be interested in, the speculations have died down. With the CBA’s expiration date nearing, there may be a last-minute rush to sign a few key players before everything comes to a halt.
It’s hard to say “no” to a lefty that just went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA. That hardly tells the story of Matz’s career. Prior to his one year with the Blue Jays, Matz was 31-41 with 4.35 ERA in 579.2 career innings.
I’m not surprised to see Matz’s name come up in offseason Mets rumors. The team is in desperate need of some reliable pitching. I’m not quite sure Matz falls into this category.
About a third of his career wins all took place last season. I know the win statistic is pretty outdated at this point, but there are other factors at work, too. His 3.82 ERA beats only what he did in 2015 and 2016: a pair of years where he combined to make 28 starts—one fewer than he made last season.
Only three seasons of his career include 150+ innings and only once was he able to make it to 160 when he did so in 2019 with 160.1 frames. Injuries have sidelined him plenty over the years. Mets fans saw firsthand that he could be an ailing arm with a 6.08 ERA one year and become a healthy yet somewhat limited 3.97 ERA guy the following season.
Matz is going to make some team happy—at least for a little while. To me, it shouldn’t be the Mets. They already have question marks with Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker. Adding another guy whose career consistently went up and down would be the wrong direction to turn.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any single pitcher this winter in the free agent market without at least a couple of flaws. Many talented guys are older. Younger ones remain unproven. Those in the same age range as Matz have seen the best and worst of times.