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Steven Matz went from a career-worst season to a career-best season, and now he's cashing in.
The former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher has agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. The deal reportedly contains $4 million in incentives.
Left-hander Steven Matz and the St. Louis Cardinals are in agreement on a four-year, $44 million contract, pending physical, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Matz is coming off a career-best season and has a chance to get to $48 million and will receive a signing bonus.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 24, 2021
Because the Blue Jays declined to extend Matz a qualifying offer, the Cardinals will not have to give up any draft picks for the signing.
What are Cardinals getting in Steven Matz?
Matz enjoyed a career season this year, posting a 3.82 ERA (15 percent better than league average by ERA+) in 150 2/3 innings across 29 starts, a nice payoff for the Blue Jays after buying low via a trade with the New York Mets.
A Long Island native, Matz played six seasons for his hometown Mets with inconsistent results. He was part of a talented rotation that helped the team reach the 2015 World Series, but persistently struggled with injuries. His final year was his worst, posting a 9.68 ERA in 30 2/3 innings while dealing with a shoulder issue in a pandemic-shortened season.
Staying healthy has always been an issue with Matz, but pitching an entire season for the Blue Jays had to be encouraging for potential suitors in free agency, which reportedly included the Mets. Now, Matz figures to help fill out a Cardinals rotation headlined by veteran Adam Wainwright, likely playing the final season of his career, and Jack Flaherty.