The St. Louis Cardinals have signed starting pitcher Steven Matz to a four-year deal worth up to $48 million with incentives, according to multiple reports.
The agreement – which is pending a physical – with the 30-year-old lefty was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan:
The Red Sox were one of the teams interested in Matz, who would have helped replace Eduardo Rodriguez after the lefty signed a five-year deal with Detroit.
He's coming off the best season of his career, with a 14-7 record, with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts for the Toronto Blue Jays. He began his career with parts of six seasons with the New York Mets.
St. Louis was reportedly in the market for a middle-tier starting pitcher, to compliment Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas in the expected 2022 rotation.
Matz was once part of an up-and-coming crop of Mets pitching prospects that included Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Injuries plagued the New York native after he went 4-0 as a rookie in 2015.
In 2020, he was 0-5 with New York and had a 9.68 ERA while battling shoulder issues. He was traded to Toronto for some minor-league pitching depth and thrived in his new opportunity.
He was called "one of the unsung heroes" of the Blue Jays by manager Charlie Montoyo. He once again became a reliable strike thrower, with a 8.6 strikeout-per-nine ratio compared to a 2.6 walk-per-nine average in 2021.
He's not the big-name, free agent pitcher like Marcus Stroman or Max Scherzer, but he's the No. 3 three or four starter that the Cardinals front office was looking for.
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