MLB's Mets beat writer, Anthony DiComo, reported that the talks had really picked up between Matz and his former team. That being said, they had some competition:
A national insider in Jon Heyman (MLB Network) reported that the Angels were one of the eight teams who offered Matz:
The competition for Matz was about as fierce as possible. Again, even the San Francisco Giants were in on Matz despite already re-signing their free agents and making a play for our own Alex Cobb. Sure enough, the Angels missed out with the Cardinals reportedly picking up Matz on a four-year/$44 million deal.
The Angels had competition, but could've acquired a find in Steven Matz.
There were plenty of reasons as to why Matz was seen as a prized possession. He went 14-7 last season in his first year with the Blue Jays. Posting a 3.82 ERA, he also recorded a 3.79 FIP and had a 115 ERA+.
It was his first year as an AL pitcher, and he certainly passed the test. He would have had the chance to thrive with the Angels.
If he came to Anaheim, he would have been a middle of the rotation guy. He's not Syndergaard or Ohtani, so the Halos would have needed to make sure the price wouldn't have ended up getting too high. Mid-rotation pieces need to be acquired this offseason, though, as the Angels are going to be low on options with Chris Rodriguez out and Cobb being pursued hard by San Francisco.
The Halos have to be aggressive because if not, they'll go into spring training with multiple, or even just that one spot up for grabs. It'll make for another year of uncertainty within their rotation. A lackluster rotation has been the Angels' top issue for seven straight years now, and they can't afford that to happen for an eighth.
Now that Matz isn't the guy anymore, the Angels need to direct their attention elsewhere. There are certainly plenty of options in this loaded free agency class, and need to be aggressive. They have no choice other than to be aggressive and go after pitching so they can stop wasting Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtanis' primes.