Steven Matz said goodbye to Mets fans in a Twitter post on Thursday night.
Two minutes later, he said hello to fans of his new team, the Blue Jays, after Wednesday’s trade that sent him to Toronto for three pitching prospects.
It’s possible that Citi Field hasn’t seen the last of the Long Island lefty. The Blue Jays are scheduled to visit the Mets on July 23-25.
On Friday, Matz talked about his new opportunity in a Zoom call with the Toronto media.
"I think my initial reaction is, I’m really excited about a fresh start," he said. "Especially with last year, with the way it went. When a team wants you, it always kind of gives you that energy. So I was really excited about that."
Last year went about as poorly as a shortened season could for Matz, 29, a Stony Brook native. He was 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA.
He finished his Mets career with a 31-41 record and a 4.35 ERA after being drafted in the second round in 2009 out of Ward Melville and reaching the World Series as a rookie in 2015. (New Blue Jays teammate Anthony Kay, who is four years younger, also pitched for Ward Melville.)
Matz said he will always be grateful for the chance to play for his hometown team.
"I became a man in that organization," he said. "From 18 to now almost 30 years old, I was with that organization. I grew up in it. I’m just thankful. Thankful for the opportunity they gave me. I built a lot of great relationships, had a lot of great experiences, learned a lot from ups and downs and different stuff. I think it was an awesome experience."
Matz said he thinks he has figured out the formula for success in 2021: just be himself on the mound.
"I think last year, I just got away from some of the things that gave me success," he said. "Surprisingly some of my stuff, from a stuff standpoint, was the best it’s ever been in my career. I got away from some of the basics that helped me get guys out."