The New York Mets lost out on the Steven Matz reunion — the veteran southpaw who spent six seasons in Queens opting to sign a four-year, $44 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
And team owner Steve Cohen was not happy about how it all went down.
“I’m not happy this morning,” Cohen tweeted on Wednesday. “I’ve never seen such unprofessional behavior exhibited by a player’s agent. I guess words and promises don’t matter.”
Cohen told MLB insider Joel Sherman that Matz’s representation pursued the Mets in recent days, shortly after the team hired Billy Eppler as their general manager.
Matz’s agent, Rob Martin, allegedly told Cohen that the Mets were Matz’s first choice and that there was “unfinished business” to attend to.
Instead, Matz agreed to the deal with the Cardinals without giving the Mets a chance to match, which they were willing to do.
“Most relationships I’ve had with agents have been wonderful,” Cohen told Sherman. “The conversations have been good, they really have been. But here, this was different. This was something so over the line.
“I can’t imagine what the agent was thinking in the context of how they reached out to us and the reasons they wanted to come back. I have never had an agent do that to me before.”
Martin, hit back, releasing a statement to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal:
“We are aware of Mr. Cohen’s tweet. It’s unfortunate that he chose to take his frustrations to Twitter. I will not do the same and instead will take the high road which is consistent with both my character and the character of our client. Steven Matz grew up a Mets fan, loved his time there, and continues to invest in the New York Community through his efforts supporting NY’s First Responders. As a result of that, there was a strong pull to return to the Mets. But ultimately he made the decision he felt was best for him and his family. Steven is and always will be grateful to the Mets and Mets fans, but he now looks forward to his next chapter with the tremendous franchise in St. Louis.”
Such a statement doesn’t seem as though it’s steeped within the high road, but Matz is off to greener pastures in St. Louis while the Mets continue their search for some much-needed starting-pitching help.