Steven Matz could very well be making his way back home to the New York Mets this week.
MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported that the Mets have made an offer to bring the free-agent southpaw back to the club he spent his first six professional seasons with (2015-2020) after being drafted by New York in the second round in 2009.
In January, he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for Josh Winckowski, Yennsy Diaz, and Sean Reid-Foley where he put together his best season since his 2016 campaign with the Mets.
Over 29 starts, Matz went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA with a WHIP of 1.334 — a significant improvement from his last four injury-riddled seasons with the Mets that saw him post a 4.83 ERA ending with a demotion to the bullpen in 2020.
His improvement has created a robust market, per DiComo, as eight teams, including the Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Angels have made offers — the latter having already taken Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Loup from the Mets.
But Matz and the Mets made significant progress on contract talks after Billy Eppler was confirmed as the team’s general manager, finally providing a glimpse of front-office structure.
He also remains close with former teammates, including Jacob deGrom, and still has family in the area as he grew up and attended high school on Long Island.
“I became a man in that organization. From 18 to now almost 30 years old, I was with that organization. I grew up in it,” Matz said of the Mets after he was traded to Toronto. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity they gave me. I built a lot of great relationships, had a lot of great experiences, learned a lot from ups and downs and different stuff. I think it was an awesome experience.”
The Mets are in need of starting-pitching depth with Syndergaard having already departed for the Angels and Marcus Stroman currently a free agent. He would also fulfill a need of another left-handed starter seeing as the Mets are woefully short in that category with just three — David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, and Thomas Szpaucki — on the 40-man roster. All three also ended the 2021 season injured.
Matz would be in the mix for a lower role in the rotation, which means the Mets still must be aggressive in attaining at least one more top arm if not two.
The veteran lefty is expected to make his decision by Wednesday, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, with Major League Baseball’s potential lockout looming once the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on Dec. 2.