Late last night, news broke that the St. Louis Cardinals won the Steven Matz free agency sweepstakes and would sign the left-hander to a four-year deal worth $44 million. Matz had a career year in 2021 and cashed in.
The Cardinals faced stiff competition for Matz's services, with eight teams reportedly in on negotiations with the starter. One of those teams was the New York Mets, where Matz started his career back in 2015. Matz spent five seasons with the organization before he was traded in early 2021 following a disastrous 2020 season. His homecoming would have been a nice story, but ultimately the Mets lost out on another free agent.
Owner Steven Cohen, notorious tweeter, was very displeased about the unfolding of events. He angrily sent out a tweet that is presumably about Matz's agent.
This echoes the sentiment of new Mets GM Billy Eppler, who thought the team would get a chance to make a final offer to Matz before he made his final decision.
It's one thing for the team's GM to let it leak that he was unhappy with the way things unfolded. That's part of the grander game of free agency. It is quite another for the owner to get Mad Online after getting burned.
Like many of Cohen's other tweets, it simply is not a good look for the organization. Sure, the open line of communication is a welcome change after the Wilpons worked in the shadows for decades, but it is hard to imagine any player loving this.
Reading between the lines, it feels like Matz's agent used the threat of a Mets homecoming as leverage to get more money from somebody else. It's part of the business. Even if the agent was a little shadier than everyone would like, nothing changes the fact that the player did not pick the Mets. Cohen tweeting about the unprofessionalism of Matz's agent probably hammers home that he did the right thing by not coming back to New York.
Cohen's Twitter fingers are going to get the Mets into more serious trouble one day.
UPDATE: Cohen went a more traditional route after tweeting and spoke to Joel Sherman to further air his grievances.
UPDATE 2: Rob Martin has responded to Cohen via Ken Rosenthal.