Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Cubs Could Be On Verge of Signing Steven Matz

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Well, look what we have here. Are the Cubs actually going to sign a good free agent?



Cubs In On Steven Matz

According to MLB reporter Jon Heyman, the Cubs are one of several teams attempting to sign free agent starter Steven Matz. The 30-year-old lefty pitched for the Blue Jays in 2021 and had a great bounce back season following his down year in the shortened 2020 season with the Mets.

So yeah, being one of eight teams aren’t necessarily the best odds, however this is legitimately the highest profile free agent the Cubs have been seriously interested in since they signed Yu Darvish right before the start of spring training in 2018.

Local MLB reporter Bruce Levine confirmed Heyman’s report, saying the Cubs are definitely pursuing the left-handed starter.

Matz Signing By Wednesday

What’s even better about this reported interest in Matz is that we’re probably not going to have to obsess and agonize over his decision for long. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, Matz is expected to agree to a deal by Wednesday.

Why Cubs Want Matz

Obviously the Cubs want to sign Matz because their rotation is in shambles. The 2021 pitching staff was horrible and although there are a couple young arms that looked promising at times, the Cubs desperately need another veteran pitcher that can miss bats.

Matz also meets the Cubs biggest need of being a power pitcher. In 29 starts with the Blue Jays in 2021, Matz averaged 94.5 mph on his fastball, seventh best among left-handed starters.

“You need power pitching. You need power arms to win in today’s game. You need to be able to miss bats. The makeup of our staff this year was too contact-oriented, so to speak, and that’s something that needs to change.”

(Jed Hoyer)

Matz has a career 22.3 K%. In 2021, Cubs starting pitchers had an 18.7 K%, which ranked third-worst in MLB.

Looking back at Matz’s career, the numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he’s been fairly consistent. There’s only been one bad year for Matz (2020 means nothing to me) that came in 2017, when he only made 13 starts. Matz missed the first two months of the 2017 season with an elbow injury and by late August he underwent season-ending surgery to repair nerve irritation in his left elbow. Other than that, pretty decent.

2016: 22 starts, 3.40 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 132.1 IP
2018: 30 starts, 3.97 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 154 IP
2019: 30 starts, 4.21 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 160.1 IP
2021: 29 starts, 3.82 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 150.2 IP

Steven Matz Contract

Surprisingly, free agents have been signing earlier this offseason compared to the past few years and starting pitchers have led the way in inking new deals.

Matz, who will be 31-years-old at the end of May in 2022, isn’t in the top-tier of free agent starting pitchers, but after his strong year with the Blue Jays he is expected to get at least a three-year contract.

FanGraphs ranks Matz 31st in its top-50 free agent list and here are the projected contracts for the lefty.

Over at MLB Trade Rumors, their top-50 free agent predictions rank Matz 27th and had him signing for $27 million over three years.

So, how are you feeling about a potential Matz deal with the Cubs? Let us know!



Aldo Soto
“Sports are dumb and so much fun at the same time.” A lead writer at Sports Mockery for over five years.

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