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Mets trade LHP Steven Matz to Blue Jays for 3 young arms

In a deal between two of baseball's busiest teams this winter, the New York Mets traded left-hander Steven Matz to the Toronto Blue Jays for three young pitchers Wednesday night.

New York received reliever Sean Reid-Foley and minor league right-handers Josh Winckowski and Yennsy Díaz in a move that could signal the Mets are pursuing a pricey free agent.

Matz, a New York product, is set to earn $5.2 million this year and can become a free agent after the season. He is coming off a miserable 2020, when he went 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA and lost his rotation spot during the pandemic-shortened season.

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz reacts while walking to the dugout after being relieved during the third inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in New York. (AP PhotoAdam Hunger)

Matz spent the final month of the season on the injured list with shoulder discomfort. He made six starts and three relief appearances.

Beset by several injuries during his career, the 29-year-old lefty is 31-41 with a 4.35 ERA and 552 strikeouts over 579 2/3 innings in six major league seasons, all with the Mets.

Toronto is hoping Matz can regain his early form and strengthen a suspect pitching staff as the Blue Jays look to complement a talented group of hitters that includes free-agent newcomer George Springer.

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz reacts during the second inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in New York. (AP PhotoAdam Hunger)

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New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz walks to the dugout after being relieved during the third inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in New York. (AP PhotoAdam Hunger)

New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz reacts after allowing a two-run home run to Washington Nationals' Trea Turner during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in New York. (AP PhotoKathy Willens)