New York Mets: Time to move on from Steven Matz

Steven Matz, New York Mets. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Steven Matz, New York Mets. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Its time for the New York Mets to move on from pitcher Steven Matz. He can be replaced by existing pitchers on the roster and his trade value may never be this high again.

New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz was a feel-good story when he came up from the minors during the 2015 season. A local kid (Ward Melville High School on Long Island) playing for the team he rooted for as a kid. Three seasons later the shine is off the story.

At almost 28-years-old, he is no longer the whiz kid. Injuries have derailed his once promising career. As a matter of fact, he has only pitched 388.2 innings in 71 stars, spanning three seasons.. Worse, after this season Matz will be arbitration eligible.

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Its a double edged sword for the Mets. If he continues on the same path he has since 2016, he becomes a depreciated asset, due for a raise. On the other hand, if Matz somewhat improves and has a good year, the Amazins will have to shell out big bucks in arbitration. Why not trade him now while the word “potential” is still in play?

There are several teams far away from New York City that general manager Brodie Van Wagenen can trade with for the tall lefty. For example, he’d fit in well with either Texas or Seattle, two teams that desperately need starting pitching.

As a matter of fact John Daniels of the Rangers would be a great place to start because it looks like the top of his rotation will be manned by “What’s his name,” “Whose that,” and “The other guy,” also known as Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, and Edinson Volquez.

Possible Replacements

There are two replacements on the roster that can take Matz’ place in the rotation. Both Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo have started games for the Mets in the past. They have the stuff to be effective starting pitchers at the major league level.

Robert Gsellman

25-year-old Robert Gsellman has four pitches in his arsenal, including a mid-to-upper 90’s fastball. A former third-round pick in 2011 out of Culver City, CA., “G-Man” made his first Major League appearance in 2016. That year he pitched in eight games and started seven finishing up the regular season with a 4-2 record with a 2.42 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched. Gsellman hasn’t been as prolific since but owns the skill set to be a very effective mid-to-backend of the rotation pitcher.

Seth Lugo

Seth Lugo was a New York Mets 34th round draft pick in 2011 and is a true success story. The year after he was drafted, he underwent spinal fusion surgery. He came back stronger and worked his way through the Mets system, making his MLB debut in 2015.

Last season Lugo pitched out of the pen but was pressed into service as a spot starter and responded well. He pitched in 54 games and started five. Lugo ended up with a record of 3-4, with a 2.66 ERA and stingy 1.076 WHIP over 101.1 innings pitched. The Louisiana native has a superior curveball, one of the best in the game. As a matter of fact, he owns the Major League record for the highest spin rate (the more a ball spins, the more it drops).

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The time is now to maximize the trade return on Steven Matz. The Mets can use him to beef up their minor league pipeline.