Steven Matz is one of a number of free agent starting pitchers in high demand and we could know where he’ll call home next as early as Tuesday. The left-hander has eight teams in the hunt yet, and the Chicago Cubs remain among them.
Now we’ve talked about how Matz could fit into the Cubs’ plans at length in recent weeks. Even after adding Wade Miley, Chicago has a desperate need in the rotation and Matz could go a long way toward shoring things up in that regard. Still, as you can see from Jon Heyman’s list above, they face some pretty stiff competition in their pursuit.
With eight official offers in-hand, the ball is now squarely in Matz’ court. Obviously, looking at the interested clubs, the Cubs rank near the bottom of the pecking order. That being said, we’ve seen players choose Chicago before in such scenarios – and money certainly talks.
Last season with Toronto, Matz put it all together as an important piece in the Blue Jays’ rotation, making 29 starts and working to a 3.79 FIP across 150 2/3 innings of work. It’s important to just lay it out there right now. This guy isn’t an ace. So don’t go out there and make the same mistake we saw with Jose Quintana and saddle him with unrealistic expectations should he choose Chicago.
Chicago Cubs know that Steven Matz can help solidify the starting rotation
Matz is a solid three in a contending big league staff – and his presence would go a long way in bringing badly-needed consistency to the Cubs’ rotation moving forward. Kyle Hendricks, paired with Wade Miley and Matz, isn’t something that’s likely to stoke fear in the hearts of opponents, but it’s definitely more imposing than the guys who were getting the ball down the stretch this summer.
MLBTR predicted a three-year, $27 million deal for Matz but given the steep prices we’ve seen for starting pitching so far in free agency, it seems safe to assume that AAV will fall short of what the lefty brings home in a new deal.