The New York Mets have finally parted ways with Steven Matz as he heads to the Toronto Blue Jays after six roller-coaster seasons with the franchise. Zack Scott’s first trade as general manager resulted in the Mets getting Sean Reid-Foley, #26 prospect Yennsy Diaz, and #27 prospect Josh Winckowski in return. Could Matz’s trade signal a potential Trevor Bauer signing is imminent?
Over his Mets career, Matz pitched in 112 games (107 starts) with a 4.35 ERA. Matz never lived up to the top prospect status he garnered in the minor leagues. Home runs became Matz’s Achilles heel and it resulted in 1.7 per nine innings and a 4.83 ERA in his last four seasons.
Matz had one final chance to right his Mets career in 2020 as the second starter behind Jacob deGrom. After his first start of the season, he struggled mightily and finished with a 9.68 ERA. By the end of the season, Matz became a mop-up reliever and the odd-man out of the rotation this offseason.
Matz’s departure was only a matter of time after Carlos Carrasco and Joey Lucchesi were acquired. Missing out on D.J. LeMahieu, George Springer and Brad Hand made signing Bauer a realistic option. Including Aaron Loup’s deal, the Mets are $36 million under the luxury tax with Matz off the books.
Silence is the new Mets offseason motto but this makes Bauer’s signing imminent. If Bauer signed prior to the trade, Matz would waste a 40-man roster spot. With Matz out of the picture, Lucchesi would move into his role once Bauer signs.
Who Are The Prospects?
Reid-Foley has the most major league experience out of the trio. He threw 71.2 innings over parts of the last three seasons with a 4.40 ERA. Reid-Foley debuted as a starting pitcher but moved to the bullpen in 2020. He will likely remain in that role in the majors while starting games in Triple-A.
Diaz only faced seven batters in his 2019 debut and walked four of them. It was his lone appearance above Double-A where he had a 3.74 ERA before his promotion. Diaz is only 24-years old but throws in the mid-90s with good movement on his fastball. Winckowski is a 15th round pick and the youngest (22) out of the group. In 2019, he had a 2.69 ERA in 127.1 innings between Single-A and High-A.
None of the pitchers are groundbreaking moves but getting two top-30 prospects is a good exchange. Matz is damaged goods and during his peak, was nothing more than a mid-rotation starter. Let us not forget that the Mets have some good history with Blue Jays prospects while Sandy Alderson is in the organization.