The thing about having money isn’t just the ability to sign the Springers and the Bauers and the Realmutos to mega deals, but it’s also the ability to be able to extend a last chance to somebody for $5.2 million, hoping that the upside that has long been rumored comes true. And if it doesn’t? Well, it’s only money.
Steven Matz, he of the “five aces” that lives on in our hearts and imaginations (mostly imagination), was not thrown to the wolves as a non-tender candidate. He was given a one year deal for the aforementioned $5.2 million in hopes that his 2020 season was an abberation of a shortened season that was weird for everyone.
With the money that Stevie Wonder is threatening to throw around, Matz could be nothing more than depth. But with the starting pitching market a murky forest once you get past Trevor Bauer (and with my darkhorse Dan Straily returning to the Lotte Giants for the 2021 season), bringing back Matz becomes a “why the hell not” scenario. At the same time, one still hopes that Sandy will being back another pitcher to supplement Bauer so that Matz will be nothing more than a depth guy and that Seth Lugo can return to the role that suits him best: a creative bullpen role. But if the design is for Lugo to be a starter, then hopefully the Mets could bring somebody else in for depth that’s a little better than Ariel Jurado.
Speaking of Jurado, he was one of the non-tenders announced today as he takes the first train to free agency along with Paul Sewald (whose Mets legacy will be appearing in a sock commercial with Jerry Blevins), Nick Tropeano (who was here for about a month and a half and was notable because he was the cousin of a friend of a friend, and I’m not looking forward to telling said friend that Tropeano is gone without pitching a game for the Mets), and Chasen Shreve, who was a surprise exit seeing that he was one of the two or three best players on the 2020 Mets. But he didn’t have any options left, and I guess that was the tipping point. Robert Gsellman for example, does have options and he was tendered a contract.
As for Matz, this is most likely it. He either eliminates the noise and harnesses the talents that he has, or he’s finding a new address in 2022 (or 2023 if the players get locked out). It’s that simple. And thankfully, it’s only money.
Today’s Offseason Hate List
Because I couldn’t resist:
This might be the worst take of all time pic.twitter.com/eAZEK75rPg
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) December 2, 2020
What Andrew probably meant to say is that general managers and heads of baseball operations don’t put teams together in hopes of winning the World Series that year, but rather put a good process together to win consistantly and to put them in a position for sustained success, over which time the championships will come. But of course, he comes off sounding like a complete buffoon, and deservedly so. I mean between his terrible take that men should shut up and not tweet their congratulations for the hiring of Kim Ng, his God awful take that it was necessary journalism to ask Walker Buehler about his tight pants trending on Twitter immediately after losing Game 1 of the NLDS, and his insistance that Noah Syndergaard was going to be traded during the Winter Meetings when every other writer national and local was tweeting otherwise, and you have a reporter that has rightly lost the benefit of the doubt on what he said vs. what he might have meant to say.