The Red Sox clearly are looking to supplement their rotation this winter. It’s just a matter of how high they want to shoot and how many starters they want to bring in to shore up their depth. We know they have a couple of offers out to Eduardo Rodriguez, including the qualifying offer, and we also have reports indicating interest in another pitcher as well. That pitcher would be Steven Matz, as reported by Joel Sherman.
Matz is coming off his age-30 season, having pitched for the Blue Jays in 2021. Prior to that the southpaw had pitched for the Mets, who drafted him way back in the first round of the 2009 draft. He made his debut with New York back in 2015. Since then, he’s been a steady presence in the back of rotations, but never really getting over the top. He had some injury issues early in his career, though he did make 30 starts in both 2018 and 2019 and made 29 starts this past year.
This past season with Toronto he had his best year of his career. Making those 29 starts and totaling 150 2⁄3 innings, Matz finished the season with a 3.82 ERA with a 3.79 FIP. Home runs had been his biggest issue over his career, but he was able to maintain a solid rate in 2021. His strikeout rate is more average than good, but he’s historically been able to post solid walk rates. Overall, he’s generally settled in around an average park-adjusted ERA, though typically leaning slightly on the wrong side of average.
With all of that in mind, he seems like a solid secondary target for the Red Sox. If this level of pitcher was the best the team was planning to target this winter that would be a major problem, but nothing would indicate that is the case and it’s certainly not our expectation. While they had tremendous luck with starting pitching health in 2021, they can’t count on that continuing into 2022. Chaim Bloom has talked about wanting seven or so quality starting pitching options to start the year, and Matz would be a back-end signing to help achieve that goal. It’s certainly worth at least putting out feelers at this point in the winter.