After adding to their lineup with the high-profile acquisitions of George Springer and Marcus Semien, Toronto turned its starting rotation.
The Blue Jays are acquiring left-hander Steven Matz in a trade with the Mets, the team announced Wednesday night. New York will receive three prospects in return, all right-handed pitchers: Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diáz and Josh Winckowski. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on the deal earlier.
Matz, who will turn 30 in May, struggled last season, going 0-5 in nine games (six starts) with a 9.68 ERA. He allowed 14 home runs in 30 2/3 innings, with 36 strikeouts and 10 walks.
From 2018-19, Matz made 60 starts and went 16-21 with a 4.09 ERA. He's due to make $5.2 million in 2021, and will be a free agent after the season.
Matz is the second starting pitcher the Blue Jays have acquired this offseason, coming on the heels of signing Tyler Chatwood. Toronto also re-signed left-hander Robbie Ray, who arrived in a midseason trade last year.
In trading Matz, the Mets free up salary and open up a spot in the rotation, possibly for them to sign reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer. New York has reportedly made an offer to Bauer that would approach the record-setting contract the Yankees gave to Gerrit Cole last year, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Another one of Bauer's potential suitors, the Angels, are unlikely to be Bauer's landing spot due to his relationship to Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway, which has "eroded beyond repair" according to Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times. Callaway was Bauer's pitching coach with Cleveland from 2013-17.
Bauer previously addressed his feuding with Callaway in a Sports Illustrated profile, from February 2019.
“My process has been the same the entire time,” Bauer told SI, recalling a dispute he had with Callaway. “I’m going to try to find every single way to do better, and I’ve probably researched it more than you have. Don’t tell me what I do and don’t know without some good f---ing data behind it.”
In 11 starts last season, Bauer went 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 73 innings.