The Red Sox ‘remain in touch’ with free agent left-hander Steven Matz, who ‘has a healthy market,’ according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.
Matz became a free agent earlier this month after spending the 2021 season with the Blue Jays, who acquired him from the Mets this past January.
In his first season with Toronto, the 30-year-old southpaw posted a 3.82 ERA and 3.79 FIP to go along with 144 strikeouts to 43 walks over 29 starts spanning 150 2/3 innings of work.
Since electing free agency, Matz has drawn plenty of interest from other clubs — including the Red Sox. Not only is the 6-foot-2, 201 pound hurler coming off a solid 2021 campaign, but he also did not receive a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays, meaning he has no draft pick compensation attached to him.
Because of these factors, the Sox are not the only club who have inquired on Matz, who is represented by Icon Sports Management and met with potential suitors at the GM meetings in Carlsbad, Calif.
On Thursday, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that the Mets — the organization Matz began his professional career with as a second-round draft pick in 2009 — have interest in bringing the Stony Brook native back for 2022 and beyond.
Heyman added that the Blue Jays were also interested in reuniting with Matz while several other teams are pursuing him.
The off-season may only be weeks old, but the Red Sox have already taken a hit in regards to their starting rotation with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez jettisoning Boston to sign a five-year, $77 million deal with the Tigers on Tuesday.
Adding an experienced starting pitcher such as Matz to the mix would be one way Boston could go about filling the void left behind by Rodriguez. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom touched upon this very topic in a recent conversation with Cotillo.
“We certainly want to have more guys who are capable of starting games in the big-leagues and doing it well,” Bloom said. “We’re not too focused on how famous they are. It’s more about what we think they can do. With that said, certainly a lot of the guys who could do the job well are also well-known. We’re focusing on those guys, too. We need to cover the whole map here and make sure we’re involved in everything that could help us.”
In addition to Matz, other free agent starting pitchers the Red Sox could purse include 2021 American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray (who is qualified), Anthony DeSclafani, Kevin Gausman, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and Marcus Stroman.
Of course, Boston’s quest to add rotation depth does not have to stop in free agency. As Cotillo notes, the trade market is flush with intriguing names such as Sandy Alcantara, Chris Bassitt, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Sean Manaea being floated out there.
“We’ve been really active in talking to free agents and talking to other clubs,” said Bloom. “There are days that start with us thinking we might really have our teeth sunk in something and the day ends quietly. There have been days where it has been the reverse, that midway through the day, something develops and accelerates. Obviously, it hasn’t led to a major transaction for us yet, but the conversations have certainly been active.”
(Picture of Steven Matz: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)