Mets voice frustration as top pitching target snubs them after last-minute change of heart

Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Jose Lobaton (59) talks to New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets wanted to bring back left-handed pitcher Steven Matz, who pitched the first six seasons of his big league career with them.

While the Mets were keen on securing his signature, the hurler reportedly had a last-minute change of heart and his agent failed to come back to them after the St. Louis Cardinals made him a four-year, $44 million offer he ended up accepting.

“(The) Mets are upset about the Matz situation and his last minute call to Cardinals. They had the impression he was going to come back to them for a final chance. Sources say Mets would have gone to that level ($44M, 4 years)”, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman explained via Twitter.

Matz had a fantastic 2021 campaign, with a 14-7 record, a 3.82 ERA. A 1.33 WHIP, and 144 strikeouts in 150.2 innings.

The Mets’ owner was an unhappy man this morning

“I’m not happy this morning. I’ve never seen such unprofessional behavior exhibited by a player’s agent. I guess words and promises don’t matter”, Mets’ owner Steve Cohen tweeted this morning, presumably about the Matz situation.

Matz’ market heated up this week, and it was clear he would sign before Thanksgiving. Lots of teams were behind his services, including the Jays, Mets, Cardinals, and many more.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Matz can make up to $48 million and will receive a signing bonus.

The Mets badly need rotation help after losing Noah Syndergaard to the Los Angeles Angels, and with Marcus Stroman currently a free agent, their depth consists of Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, Tylor Megill, and David Peterson. They need at least two or three arms, and were determined to bring back Matz after his one-year stint in Toronto.

However, it wasn’t meant to be, and the Mets will have to keep monitoring the market while they look for improvements. The Billy Eppler era didn’t start on the right foot, but there is still plenty of time to build a competitive roster.