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Mets have three directions they can go with Steven Matz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 15: Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 15, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 15: Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 15, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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DENVER, COLORADO – SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets throws in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 16, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Trade or non-tender Matz this winter

Originally, I was going to write about trading Matz and all of the possible places he could go, what the Mets could get, and how swapping him with another change-of-scenery candidate might work out.

The more thought I put into it, the less likely I believe this is something we would actually see.

I’m not completely negating the possibility of a trade. Left-handed pitchers can always find a place on a major league roster somewhere. So, let’s not devalue Matz completely.

However, non-tendering him seems to be the more realistic direction the club could go. Currently arbitration-eligible, the Mets are looking at paying him more than the $5 million he was set to earn in a full 2020 campaign.

It’s not a huge dollar amount but it is an overpayment for a guy who is a fringe-fifth starter. The Mets can find a more proven veteran arm via free agency if they are willing to part with Matz.

This does lead back to one of the issues already mentioned. How are the Mets going to fill all five rotation spots when they are going to lose out on several of them?

Brodie Van Wagenen, if anything, has been bold as the team’s general manager. He non-tendered Travis d’Arnaud in 2019 and even did the same with one of his trade pick-ups, Keon Broxton. Matz isn’t a former client of his so there’s none of that pre-Mets attachment.

It’s a cruel way for Matz’s tenure in New York to end. His performance, if it doesn’t get any better before the end of 2020, may warrant a sad ending like this.

Next. Best Mets first-round picks at every position

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