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Free-agent starting pitcher Steven Matz could have a new home shortly.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that a deal for Matz “could come soon,” as he has drawn interest from the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays. Heyman had reported over the weekend that the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals were also interested in the 30-year-old lefty.
Matz pitched for the Blue Jays in 2021, going 14-7 in 29 starts with a 3.82 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 144 strikeouts. A New York native, he spent the first six seasons of his career with the Mets. Last season was a bounce-back campaign for Matz as he went 0-5 in six starts in 2020 with a 9.68 ERA.
In 141 games with 136 starts, Matz has a career record of 45-48 with a 4.24 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 696 strikeouts.
Out of all the teams reportedly pursuing Matz, the Giants have been one of the more active clubs at the start of free agency, with their eyes set on improving their pitching. ESPN’s Jeff Passan stated Monday that San Francisco is being “incredibly aggressive” in trying to shore up its rotation.
They’ve already re-signed starter Anthony DeSclafani to a three-year deal on Monday and are reportedly finalizing a deal to bring back Alex Wood. Kevin Gausman is a free agent, so pursuing Matz could be an insurance move for the Giants.
The Angels have also been focused on adding arms this offseason. Los Angeles signed starter Noah Syndergaard to a one-year deal last week and added reliever Aaron Loup on a two-year contract on Monday.
The addition of Matz would bolster any team’s starting rotation, especially if he can duplicate his success from the 2021 season. He could also be the most reliable starter who wouldn’t command major money. In addition to Gausman, this year’s free-agent class includes high-profile starters Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Marcus Stroman.