Blue Jays Still Dealing: Pitcher Steven Matz Acquired from Mets

Baseball Jan 28, 2021

The Toronto Blue Jays continue making off-season moves.

Yesterday, the Blue Jays announced a four-player deal that will bring the left-hander to Canada, at least theoretically until Toronto determines where they'll be playing their home games in 2021.

Toronto does badly need pitching rotation depth.  Matz addresses that need as a potential workhorse.  Trouble is, the 29-year-old hurler is coming off a horrible season in 2020.  His career numbers are inconsistent, at best.  Oh, and Matz has a long history of elbow and shoulder problems.  Not exactly an encouraging prospect.

During the abbreviated season, Matz struggled with the Mets.  He went 0-5 in his six starts, and posted a dreadful 9.68 ERA in 31 innings pitched, including 14 home runs over that span.  Matz ended up in the bullpen by season's end.  

Over the balance of his career, when healthy, he's been very average – starting with a 91 ERA+ and 3.07 K/BB ratio across parts of six major league seasons.

It's uncertain if Matz wanted a longer-term deal,  The Blue Jays may be skittish about his long-term prospects given so many question marks.  Still, Matz will earn $5.2 million in 2021, and will be a free agent after the season.

In return, the Mets will receive three young prospects:  Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diáz and Josh Winckowski.

This trade doesn't seem appealing from a Blue Jays' fan standpoint.  However, it clearly reveals the organization's intent:  Win now.  

"Win now."  Sounds good.  For long-suffering Blue Jays backers anticipating a contender, that's reason for enthusiasm heading into the new 2021 season.