Steven Matz is awaiting a decision


The Mets’ search for early pitching has intensified a few days after Billy Eppler became the team’s new general manager, December. The anticipated MLB lockout on 2 increases the sense of urgency to make the deal.

Eppler and his staff look for first and foremost rotating weapons, but also keep an eye on the slow-moving market for position players and relievers.

Should the status of a target be known by Wednesday, left-hander Steven Matz is expected to decide between a handful of teams, including the Mets, following their services in a multi-year deal. Matz, who spent last season with the Blue Jays, is said to have received offers from at least eight teams.

While left-wing players are not prominent in the Mets, it is the preferred option for a team that has acquired veteran Rich Hill to fill that void before the trade deadline, after losing to Joe Lucchesi and David Peterson in season-ending injuries.

The Mets have made an offer to bring back Steven Matz.
AP

The Orioles are swinging John Means for interested suitors, but in his first year as an arbitration eligible player, the cost could be steep for any team to acquire him. The Dodgers ’David Price is another left-handed player who may be available by trade, but at age 36 and a health-compromising season, the Mets see plenty of trouble.

The 30-year-old Matz went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 to rebound the Blue Jays from a terrible 2020 last season. The Mets traded the Long Island native to Toronto last winter with Sean Reed- Foley, Yancy Dias and Josh Winkowski.

Matz’s tenure with the Mets was a roller-coaster ride, marked by injuries and ineffective enlargements, but the team is banking on the fact that he can provide a veteran arm with at least a respectable upside.

As it stands, the Mets have slotted Jacob DeGrom, Carlos Carrasco and Taizuan Walker for next season’s rotation. Of that group, only Walker – who faded dramatically in the second half – managed to stay healthy the entire season. DeGrom did not pitch after July 7 because of discomfort and later was diagnosed with low-grade tears of the ulnar collateral ligament, and Carrasco’s debut did not occur until July 30, three months after the hamstring tear injury list. The right-hander underwent offseason surgery to remove bone fragments from his pitching elbow but is expected to be ready for spring training.

Long Islander’s Kevin Gousman is the only free-agent prospect on the board who won’t cost the Mets a draft pick in relief. The Mets could look to re-sign Marcus Stroman (another Long Islander) who helped carry the rotation in the absence of DeGrom last season. The Mets may look to Sunny Gray for the Reds as a part of their overhaul.

The need for a second infusion in the starting rotation became clear last week when Noah Syndergaard rejected the Mets’ eligibility offer to accept a one-year deal with the Angels worth $ 21 million.

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