The lefty’s deal is worth $44 million.
The Cardinals knew they had a need for starting pitching at the start of this offseason, and the club took little time to make a move to address that need. According to several sources, the Cardinals are in agreement with left-hander Steven Matz on a four-year, $44 million deal that could top $48 million with incentives. The lefty is 30 years old.
Steven Matz is a good fit with the Cardinals. He’s a ground-ball guy. Never really had the benefit provided by a great defense playing behind him — and now he will. And he’ll keep his walks down. Solid signing. Reasonable cost.
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) November 24, 2021
Matz was drafted by the Mets in 2009 and made his MLB debut in 2015. Matz spent six seasons in Queens before joining the Blue Jays last offseason on a one-year deal. Matz has made at least 22 starts in four big-league seasons and has topped 30 starts twice. In 29 games and starts for the Blue Jays in 2021, Matz logged 150 innings with a 3.79 FIP and a 2.6 BB/9 rate.
Matz is heavy groundball pitcher — which pairs very well with a golden Cardinals defense. In 2021, according to Baseball Reference, Matz had a 45.6 groundball percentage and a line-drive percentage of just 24, after a career-high 41.7 LD% in the pandemic-altered 2020 season.
The Cardinals were targeting a mid-rotation starter who ideally would slot behind Wainwright and Flaherty. Matz is a strike-thrower with good command of his sinker, which should play just fine with the Cardinals defense behind him.
This is not expected to be STL’s only move.
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) November 24, 2021
Matz joins a St. Louis starting staff that features Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, and Miles Mikolas. As Katie Woo of The Athletic noted, this is not expected to be the Cardinals’ only move. But, with a lockout looming in just a week, it is a solid start to their offseason shopping list.