Pitcher Steven Matz heads to Cardinals on 4-year, $44 million US deal

The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to sign former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steve Matz to a four-year, $44 million US free agent contract.

30-year-old lefty earned 14 wins on strength of 3.82 ERA in lone season with Blue Jays

Steven Matz, who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021, agreed to a four-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press)

The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to sign former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steve Matz to a four-year, $44 million US free agent contract.

Matz pitched for the New York Mets from 2015-20 before enjoying a productive year in his lone campaign with the Blue Jays.

The 30-year-old left-hander went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts for Toronto this year. He struck out 144 in 150 2/3 innings and finished tied for second in the American League in wins behind only Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees (16).

For his career, Matz is 45-48 with a 4.24 ERA. He has made 141 career appearances, all but five coming as a starter.

Mets criticize decision

Later, Mets owner Steve Cohen criticized Matz for reaching an agreement with the Cardinals rather than New York.

"I'm not happy this morning. I've never seen such unprofessional behaviour exhibited by a player's agent. I guess words and promises don't matter," Cohen wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

The deal could be worth up to $48 million if Matz achieves all incentives.

"We handle things the right way and so does Steven," Rob Martin, the pitcher's agent, wrote in a text to The Associated Press. "He was very interested in the possibility of returning to the Mets but at the end of the day, it didn't quite happen. That's all. There were a lot of very successful and hallmark franchises involved in offering him and it was a tough decision. However, he's excited about the next chapter of his career in STL and so are we."

With files from The Associated Press

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