5 potential trade destinations for Cardinals' Steven Matz

Recent reports have indicated that the St. Louis Cardinals may trade their left-handed starting pitcher Steven Matz.
St. Louis Cardinals v Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages
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Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox are perennial contenders. They are a large market team, and they are in need of help. Their current projected starting rotation for 2024 figures to be Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, and Tanner Houck. Only one of those pitchers pitched greater than 150 innings last year, and not one of the pitchers had an ERA below 4.00. Garrett Whitlock figures to receive some innings as a starter, although he profiles primarily as a swingman.

The Red Sox are in need of some reinforcements in their starting rotation. Steven Matz could provide that upside. His career 4.25 ERA would help, and his 3.86 ERA last year would have also led their staff. While Matz is injury-prone, he would provide more depth to their starting rotation. Boston doesn't have many pitchers in their prospect pipeline, but perhaps the Red Sox could be coaxed into moving on from either Tanner Houck, Brayan Bello, or Kutter Crawford. Bello would require additional players paired with Matz, but he could be available for the right price.

With James Paxton's departure through free agency, the Red Sox could use another starting pitcher to provide depth at that position. While Matz does have some injury history, he is capable of providing plenty of innings from the rotation. He could also provide bullpen assistance should the Red Sox fill out the rotation through free agency.

Baltimore Orioles

St. Louis poached Kyle Gibson from the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have a young, untested starting rotation that could use some experience to build up the team's floor. Baltimore's bullpen also struggled late in games, as their relievers blew 61% of their save opportunities (31 blown saves in 80 situations). While Steven Matz doesn't have much save experience, he can bridge the gap between the starters and the late-inning relievers should he transition to the bullpen.

Matz could also fill the spot in the rotation that Kyle Gibson left behind when he signed with the Cardinals. According to Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs, Baltimore's starting rotation will consist of Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Grayson Rodriguez, John Means, and a spattering of other young pitchers. Only one pitcher on that list has more than 3 years of experience, so Matz would be a good veteran lefty to add to the mix.

Baltimore will find its success through their offensive prowess. They have plenty of young, capable players in the field. Where Matz may thrive in Baltimore would be his ability to induce ground balls. He limits barrels and forces batters to keep the ball on the ground. With a stout defense, he should see success in Baltimore.

In return, St. Louis could request one of the many infielders that Baltimore has to offer. Should Brendan Donovan, Tommy Edman, or Nolan Gorman be traded elsewhere, St. Louis will have to net something in return. A versatile infielder such as Ramon Urias or Jorge Mateo could be had for Matz.