Mets Monday Morning GM: Why a Steven Matz trade could still happen
By Tim Boyle
Steven Matz is with the New York Mets for now. However, an unexpected injury in another city could make him a potential trade piece.
Before he was tendered a new contract, Steven Matz was reportedly shopped around the trade market. The New York Mets discussed a potential deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Nothing ever came of it so the Mets decided to hold onto the lefty pitcher.
The immediate thought many of us had is that Matz will get an opportunity to battle for the fifth starter role yet again in 2021 with the possibility of sliding into the bullpen if things don’t work out.
An alternative pathway for Matz could have him pitching in a different team’s uniform by Opening Day.
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When spring training starts, whenever that may be next year, a lot of pitchers are bound to get injured. If the Mets build their roster wisely this winter with enough starting pitching to make Matz expendable, they may be able to cash in on a better deal.
Matz’s value right now isn’t all that great. Frankly, the only thing going for him is that he wasn’t raised by extremists with the belief that left-handed people are evil.
No longer young or controllable, Matz is nearing 30 and has just one year left on his contract before free agency. He’s a nice rebound candidate in need of a change of scenery but also not worth much unless desperation strikes. For this reason, I think we’ll see Matz stick around for at least a few months. Someone may come knocking but only after their third starter blows out his elbow in an exhibition outing.
Matz shouldn’t be viewed as a cure-all for any team looking to find a starting pitcher late in this offseason. He has been entirely inconsistent for several years now with only the occasional flash of brilliance. At times, he seems to get in the groove and can go several games in a row looking like he did in his early days with the Mets. Then there are those disastrous outings where he looks like he’s bound for Triple-A after the game.
The Mets will have a tricky time building their rotation this winter because of the uncertainty surrounding Noah Syndergaard. This further adds to the reasoning behind why Matz is a better late offseason trade piece than one we’ll see moved anytime when snow is in the forecast. March trades are uncommon, but so are global pandemics.
I don’t see Matz sticking with the Mets beyond 2021 unless he somehow does pitch for them next year and is absolutely brilliant. Most likely, he bounces between the rotation and bullpen and maybe has a good season. It’s hard to believe he’ll be as brilliant as he once was after several years of blah.
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Tendering Matz a deal was a wise move by the team rather than lose him on the open market. If nothing else, the team can add him into a blockbuster trade to “sweeten a deal” for a better pitcher or a big bat. The sweetness, though, may be masked a little too much by the bitterness of last year’s woes.