Steven Matz came to the Mets amid significant fanfare in 2015, a local product who made an immediate impact on a National League pennant-winning team. The left-hander eventually became one of the franchise’s longest-tenured players, with nearly six seasons in the organization.
That run came to an end Wednesday, when the Mets traded Matz to the Blue Jays for a trio of right-handers — Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz and Josh Winckowski. The move gives New York significant relief on Matz’s $5.2 million salary, which it can now use for other pursuits.
Mets get: RHPs Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz and Josh Winckowski
Blue Jays get: LHP Steven Matz
The Mets remain in talks to acquire a starting center fielder, with Jackie Bradley Jr. an obvious candidate, as well as a starting pitcher. The team has been engaged with top free agent Trevor Bauer, who is reportedly seeking a record average annual value on his contract.
Trading Matz does not necessarily guarantee New York will sign Bradley or Bauer. But it does ensure it can pursue one, or both, with less risk of bumping against Major League Baseball’s $210 million luxury-tax threshold — a “significant demarcation,” according to team president Sandy Alderson. After dealing Matz, the team has around $175 million in luxury-tax commitments for 2021.