TORONTO – The Blue Jays have continued their busy off-season by taking over left-handed Steven Matz from the Mets against three pitchers, the club said on Wednesday. In the deal, the Blue Jays will send young right-handers Sean Reid-Foley, Josh Winckowski and Yennsy Diaz from Mets. Matz is set on
TORONTO – The Blue Jays have continued their busy off-season with the acquisition of left-handers
In the deal, the Blue Jays will send young right-handers Sean Reid-Foley, Josh Winckowski and Yennsy Diaz from Mets. Matz is set to earn $ 5.2 million in 2021.
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The Blue Jays have been one of the most aggressive teams in baseball this offseason. Her headliner was a six-year deal with star outfielder George Springer for a club record of $ 150 million. They also agreed to sign a $ 18 million one-year contract with Marcus Semien, adding aides Kirby Yates and Tyler Chatwood to their bullpen. However, after taking these steps, it turned out to be their clearest need, and Matz is the next step in addressing this.
Get Blue Jays: LHP Steven Matz
Get Mets: RHPs Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz and Josh Winckowski
A turn to the trading market makes sense for the Blue Jays even in the off-season at this point, as they have done most of their business through free agencies and still have a deep pool of prospects to draw from. On Wednesday before, club president and CEO Mark Shapiro had suggested that after the aggressive push by the free agents, options were still on the table to improve the club.
“We have some flexibility, but most of our heavy lifting is done,” Shapiro said. “There are still options for [GM] Horse [Atkins] and our baseball operations group to be creative in what they do. “
29-year-old Matz is a former top prospect with the Mets and is at one point as high as number 15 in baseball, according to the 2015 MLB Pipeline rankings. The left has shown lightning since then, but New York has had some ups and downs along the way. For his career, Matz has a 4.35 ERA over 107 starts.
Shoulder discomfort limited Matz to just 30 2/3 innings in 2020 with an ERA of 9.68, but seasons 18 and 19 paint the most accurate picture of him as a healthy starter. In these two seasons, Matz started an average of 30 with an ERA of 4.09. The talent is certainly there for better, and that advantage will now be in the trusted hands of pitching coach Pete Walker.
With Hyun Jin Ryu as the ace of rotation and Nate Pearson next in line, Matz will join a deep group of mid-to-low-end starters, including Robbie Ray, who returned to the Blue Jays within a year. $ 8 million deal and Tanner Roark. The Blue Jays also have arms like Ross Stripling, Thomas Hatch, Trent Thornton, Julian Merryweather, and Anthony Kay in the picture, so there is no shortage of options at the far end.
The Blue Jays are expected to remain in the market for other potential rotation upgrades and given the club’s flexibility and ability to take on contracts, opportunities could also arise during the season through to close of trading.
Reid-Foley is probably the best-known name for Blue Jays fans after being drafted from the club in 2014 and appearing for the past three seasons. The hard-diced right-handed has a 4.40 ERA career in the major leagues, and while Reid-Foley appeared as a starter in the minor leagues, the Blue Jays saw bullpen potential in him due to his combination of fastball and slider.
Diaz, number 26 at the club according to the MLB Pipeline, made his MLB debut with a lone appearance in 2020 and hadn’t risen above Double-A by then. A fastball with a lot of tailing action was Diaz’s best tool in the minor leagues. Winckowski, the club’s number 27, was an election in the 15th round after high school in 2016, but did very well in the minor leagues and in 2019 posted an ERA of 2.69 between Class A Lansing and Class A Advanced Dunedin. Winckowski’s Fastball sits close to 92 mph and the tall right-handed profiles as a starter or long reliever who could carry a heavy workload.
Both Reid-Foley and Diaz had spots on the Blue Jays 40-man list prior to the deal. Matz will take one of these, while the reported Semien deal, which has not yet been confirmed by the club, is expected to take the other and bring him back to a full 40.