St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of November 22-28

photo: Steven Matz (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals signed free agent left-handed starting pitcher Steven Matz. The 2022 Hall of Fame ballot has been announced. Our history feature looks back at prior Cardinals Cy Young Award winners.

Cardinals sign LHP Steven Matz to a four-year deal

On Tuesday, November 24, multiple media sources reported that the Cardinals had reached an agreement with LHP Steven Matz for a 4-year, $44 million dollar deal, pending a physical. As of Monday morning, the Cardinals have not yet confirmed the deal, as the pitcher was to have his exam over the weekend.

Steven Matz

Matz, 30, was drafted by the New York Mets and made his major league debut in 2015. The left hander pitched six seasons for the Mets before being traded in January 2021 to the Toronto Blue Jays for three players. Matz struggled in the first half of the season in Toronto but ended strong, posting a 14-7 record with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts.

Several other teams had been courting Matz, including his former team the Mets. Shortly after the deal was announced, a frustrated Steve Cohen, owner of the Mets, vented his anger toward Matz’ agent in a tweet. Cohen likely had expectations that Matz would return to the Mets, expectations that were not realized.

Matz will be added to a Cardinals rotation that should include Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, and Dakota Hudson. Alex Reyes, Jordan Hicks, Jake Woodford, and Johan Oviedo could also be in the mix.  Matz being left-handed adds a different look to the predominantly right-handed staff.

Matz relies heavily on a sinkerball, and routinely posts an above average ground ball rate. With a St. Louis defense that features five Gold Glove Award winners, and a stadium that is pitcher friendly, Matz should find a high level of comfort in his home for the next four years.

More information

Cardinals to Add Lefty Steven Matz

Baseball Hall of Fame 2022 ballot released

The ballot for the 2022 Class of the Baseball Hall of Fame was released on Monday, November 23. The 30-player slate contains both first timers and veteran players, some appearing for their 10th and final year. The voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America have until the end of December to cast their ballot for up to 10 individuals. Anyone receiving the 75% vote threshold for induction will be announced on January 25, 2022.

Scott Rolen (Getty Images)

Those players appearing for the final time include controversial candidates Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens. There are 13 first time players on the ballot: Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Jimmy Rollins, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira.

Former Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen appears for the fifth year. Rolen received 52.9 % of the vote in 2020 and is a favorite to eventually be inducted. The only other Cardinal on the ballot is short-termer Pierzynski, who was acquired in July of 2014 after being released by the Red Sox. He became a free agent at the end of the season and moved on to play for the Braves through the end of the 2016 season.

“Big Papi” Ortiz and “A-Rod” Rodriguez are the two big names on the ballot for the first time, and will likely garner significant votes, if not enough to reach the 75% threshold or higher. A player must receive at least 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot for the next year. Players remain on the ballot for a maximum of 10 years as long as the 5% threshold is reached annually.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


  • 11/24 The Cardinals sign LHP Steven Matz to a four-year deal, pending physical.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.

Looking Ahead

As November nears its end, December in the MLB offseason calendar brings the non-tender deadline and the Winter Meetings, including the Rule 5 draft.

The non-tender deadline generally falls on the first or second day of December every year. On that date teams decide whether to tender contracts to their pre-arbitration and arbitration eligible players on their major league roster. For the majority of MLB players, the tender day is routine. However, some players will not be offered contracts and will therefore become free agents, available to sign with another team.

Due to the impending expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement on December 1, the non-tender deadline this year has been moved to November 30.

The Cardinals are not expected to non-tender any players. Several possible candidates have already been taken off the roster by other available means.

The annual Winter Meetings are scheduled to take place December 6-9 in Orlando, Florida. The Rule 5 will take place on December 9. The roster has been finalized for that purpose. The Cardinals added three players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the draft. They are Brendan Donovan, Freddy Pacheco, and Jake Walsh.

These offseason activities could be altered/delayed by the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement on December 1. There is a high probability that a failure to come to an agreement between the two parties by December 1 will result in a lockout. A lockout would cause all offseason activity to cease until an agreement is reached. The length of any such delay is indeterminate.

Blast from the Past

In the third installment of the MLB awards series, we look at past Cardinals recipients of the Cy Young Award for excellence as a pitcher. A brief history of the award and summary of all past Cardinal winners follows.

Bob Gibson’s 1968 Cy Young Award

The Annual Cy Young Award for excellence in pitching was created in honor of Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young, who began his career in 1890 for the Cleveland Spiders and finished with the Boston Rustlers in 1911. Young accumulated a career record of 511-315 and ERA of 2.63 in 22 professional seasons, including two seasons with the St. Louis Perfectos/Cardinals from 1899-1900.

The first award was given out in 1956, one year after Young’s death. For the first 10 years the award was given out to one pitcher across both leagues but in 1967 was changed to one pitcher in each league. From 1956 to 1966 one pitcher won it multiple times, Sandy Koufax in 1963, 1965 and 1966. The first winner in 1956 was Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Only two Cardinals have won the award in the NL since 1967. Hall of Famer Bob Gibson received the award twice, in 1968 and 1970. Chris Carpenter was the 2005 recipient in the NL.

Bob Gibson

Gibson won in 1968 after a season in which he posted an MLB record ERA of 1.12. That record remains to the present day. Gibson had a won/loss mark of 22-9 and in addition to the ERA record also put up a NL record 13 shutouts and 268 strikeouts. The vote for Gibson in 1968 was unanimous, one of only 11 NL pitchers to receive 100% of the vote. He was also the NL MVP winner.

In 1970 Gibson received the award for a second time. That season Gibson led the NL in wins with 23 and posted an ERA of 3.12.  He finished fourth in the MVP voting.

Chris Carpenter (USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carpenter was the 2005 NL Cy Young winner. Carpenter was signed as a free agent first with the Cardinals in December 2002 but missed the entire 2003 season due to the reoccurrence of a right labrum injury. He was re-signed by the Cardinals for the 2004 season and made 28 starts. In 2005 a fully recovered Carpenter posted a record of 21-5 and an ERA of 2.83. He led the NL with seven complete games that season.

Carpenter finished third in the Cy Young voting in 2006, and second in 2009. Teammate Adam Wainwright finished third behind Carpenter that year.

Other Cardinals pitchers to finish in the top three include Wainwright again in 2010 (2nd), 2013 (2nd), and 2014 (3rd). Two other Cardinals finished second, John Tudor in 1985 and Lee Smith in 1991.

Other notable Cardinal pitchers to win the Cy Young when not playing with the team include Steve Carlton, who won it four times after being traded from the Cardinals to the Phillies in 1972. Pete Vukovich was the 1982 recipient, two years after the Cardinals traded him to Milwaukee. Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter was honored in 1979 with the Cubs, before he became a Cardinal in 1981. Sutter finished third while with St. Louis in 1982 and 1984.

Next week in the fourth and final installment, we look at Cardinals who won the NL Most Valuable Player Award.

Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

TCN 2022 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #44 – Edwin Nuñez

2021 Prospect Guide now 20% off!

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

20% off Blowout Sale now underway on the spiral-bound, printed version.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – 20% Off Blowout Sale

Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.