ST. LOUIS – The Cardinals have added a lefty to their starting rotation. The team has reportedly reached a deal with Steven Matz pending a physical. Multiple sources report that it’s a four-year deal worth $44 million but it could top $48 million with incentives and a signing bonus.
The 30-year-old is coming off a career-best season with a 14-7 record and a 3.82 era in 29 starts. He was a key component in helping the Toronto Blue Jays turn around their season.
The move comes as the starting pitching market had started to get active around baseball, with the San Francisco Giants announcing a three-year, $36 million deal with Anthony DeSclafani and also nearing a deal with lefty Alex Wood.
Matz, 30, was 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts and 150 innings for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021. In seven seasons with the Mets and Blue Jays, Matz has a career record of 45-48.
He fits the profile of what Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak outlined in recent weeks, saying the team was looking for someone who could be relied upon to pitch 150 innings. Matz has done that in four of his seven seasons in the majors, including three of the last four.
In three career starts against the Cardinals, all with the Mets, Matz is 0-2. In his last appearance, he had a no-decision, going six innings with six strikeouts and two walks in what ended up as a Cardinals 9-5 win on June 14, 2019.
Matz joins a 2022 rotation that now includes Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, and Dakota Hudson. Barring a trade, signing Matz would appear to take St. Louis out of the running for other top starters on the market.
Our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that there had been mutual interest in potentially bringing Chesterfield native Max Scherzer back home.
Former Mets and Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman, a subject of much speculation connecting him to St. Louis, tweeted over the weekend that he’d been hearing from a lot of St. Louis fans on social media.
Getting a deal done this early in the offseason could prove to be important, as Major League Baseball appears all but certain to experience a labor lockout next week while players and owners negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. Depending on how long it takes to reach a new labor deal, teams could find themselves in a mad dash of sorts to get free agents under contract.