This was the St. Louis Cardinals’ best signing before the lockout
Without question, signing Steven Matz to a four-year deal was the St. Louis Cardinals’ best move before the lockout.
Major League Baseball has been locked out for over a month and there is no end in sight. Maybe the regular season starts on time, maybe it doesn’t. We don’t know. The only thing we know right now is that there is a lot of uncertainty.
What we do know, however, is that the St. Louis Cardinals have signed left-hander Steven Matz to a four-year, $44 million deal while re-signing T.J. McFarland to a one-year deal. They also re-signed Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright to one-year contract extensions before the regular season ended, ensuring that they will start – and finish – their careers in St. Louis.
For this exercise, however, we will focus on what the Cardinals have done during the offseason. And their best move has clearly been signing Matz, who was a highly coveted pitcher, most notably from the New York Mets, who expressed their disappointment after he spurned them to sign in St. Louis.
Matz, 30, could not be a better fit for the Cardinals. First, he gives them a left-hander in the rotation alongside four right-handers in Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson. Second, he is a ground ball pitcher who should excel behind an elite Cardinals defense that features five Gold Glovers, including three in the infield in Paul Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado.
Yes, the Cardinals are likely to sign another starting pitcher, especially after almost their entire rotation went on the Injured List last season. But in signing Matz, their 1-5 is as good as it has been in some time and if healthy, should be a unit that is significantly better than last season, especially with Flaherty now 100 percent healthy.
It’s been a quiet offseason, of course, and there is no disputing that Matz has been their best addition. He filled their biggest weakness in a big way.