The Decision: Steven Matz edition.
According to MLB dot com insider Mark Feinsand, Steven Matz will be making a decision about where he’s signing on Wednesday, right before American Thanksgiving.
We know that the Blue Jays have been in the mix with Matz all along. While the team didn’t issue him a qualifying offer, which would have featured a one-year contract worth $18,400,000 if he had accepted, the Blue Jays reportedly offered Matz a multi-year deal, presumably at a much lower annual value, and that bringing him back remains a “priority.”
The Blue Jays originally acquired Matz in January in exchange for pitching prospect Josh Winckowski and two 40-man roster arms, Sean Reid-Foley and Yennsy Diaz. Matz was coming off a horrendous season in which he put up a 9.68 ERA over 30 2/3 innings with the New York Mets in 2020.
Matz rebounded nicely pitching with Pete Walker and the Blue Jays. In 29 starts, he posted a 3.82 ERA with 2.6 walks per nine and 8.6 strikeouts per nine, a thoroughly solid run in his first season in the American League East. His season can be pretty much broken down into three categories: a strong start, a poor stretch in the middle following a stint on the COVID Injured List, and a strong finish.
If we’re guessing on what Matz’s contract will look like, we can use the deals signed by Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood, a pair of reclamations projects on the San Francisco Giants, on Monday as a place to start.
DeSclafani got a three-year deal worth $36,000,000 after putting up a 3.17 ERA in 31 starts with the Giants in 2021. Wood got a two-year deal worth more than $20,000,000 after posting a 3.83 ERA across 26 outings with San Francisco. Both were on one-year deals coming off of ugly seasons in 2020.
There’s a chance that one or both pitchers took a discount to stick around in San Francisco, but these signings give us a pretty good idea of what to expect from Matz’s contract this winter.