New York Mets rumors have settled down after some initial whispers about who they might have some interest in. With the CBA’s expiration date approaching, there could be a mad dash to sign a couple of star players before everything goes on hold.
Someone I don’t expect there to be a chase for is former Mets pitcher Steven Matz. Although he’s coming off of a fine year with the Toronto Blue Jays, he’s not in the upper echelon of free agent starters.
Nevertheless, his name appeared in recent Mets rumors. According to Jon Heyman, a return to his orange and blue days could be in the works.
The Mets rumors about Steven Matz feel wrong
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.
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 I know the win statistic is pretty outdated at this point, but there are other factors at work, too.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.
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.
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.