Here are the teams that make the most sense for Matt Harvey after he was let go by the Mets

Here are the teams that make the most sense for Matt Harvey after he was let go by the Mets

The Mets on Friday designated for assignment embattled right-hander Matt Harvey after he refused assignment to the minors. While Harvey was fully within his rights to refuse said assignment, it did in essence mean the end of his Mets career. 

The 29-year-old will not go through waivers and either be traded or released. If he's released, then a team can sign him for the minimum while the Mets would be on the hook for the unpaid balance of his $5.625 million salary for 2018. So where might Harvey land? Before we do the forbidden dance called "idle speculation," let's make a few observations relative to his forthcoming market ... 

  • Harvey since the start of the 2016 season has pitched to a 5.93 ERA with a middling 2.01 K/BB ratio. 
  • Harvey fared even worse after being demoted to the bullpen not long ago, albeit across a tiny sample of just six innings. 
  • Harvey has previously undergone Tommy John surgery, and he's yet to pitch effectively since undergoing Thoracic Outlet surgery in July of 2016. He's pitched 119 2/3 innings since that procedure, and over that span he's got an ERA of 6.77 and a K/BB ratio of 1.55. 
  • His average fastball velocity has declined from a peak of 97.0 mph to 2013 to 93.3 mph this season. 
  • He's eligible for free agency this upcoming offseason. 
  • Fair or not, Harvey is perceived at times to have a questionable commitment to his craft. 

So those are all considerations for any team that takes a flyer on Harvey. That said, there's always the chance that Harvey, who for a long time has seemed ill-suited to the media environment in New York, will benefit from a less pressurized environment and of course new coaching methods. Assuming GM Sandy Alderson isn't able to offload his salary via trade, which seems to be a safe assumption, he'll also be available on the cheap. If he pans out with his new team, then perhaps a long-term extension is within the range of possibilities. 

With all that said, let's look at some potential fits in no particular order .... 

Miami Marlins

They're a bad team with nothing to lose, they need starting pitching, and they're also starved for attention. As well, there's nothing resembling any kind of media glare when it comes to the 2018 Marlins, at least if you're not in the owner's box. 

Baltimore Orioles

The O's are presently lugging around a worst-in-baseball rotation ERA of 5.75. While the homer-friendly ways of Camden Yards and the brutal nature of the AL East might not be ideal for Harvey, no team is more desperate for passable rotation innings. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

This is probably a longshot, but the Dodgers at present have Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Urias sidelined for the foreseeable future. As well, Rich Hill, Alex Wood, and even Clayton Kershaw have injury histories of varying degrees. If Harvey's willing to accept a somewhat uncertain role as an in-case-of-emergency depth piece, then this is a potential fit. 

Chicago White Sox

Longtime Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has a history of fixing broken down vets. Also, the club as it prepares to emerge from a rebuild in 2019 may want to see whether Harvey can turn into some kind of medium-term piece, assuming he merits and is open to an extension. 

Tampa Bay Rays

Maybe Harvey could be part of whatever it is they're doing to fill/paper over/avoid thinking about that fifth rotation spot. This concludes the author's analysis of the Rays' potential interest in Matt Harvey. 

Cincinnati Reds

A team with interest in Harvey must necessarily be desperate. The Reds, with the NL's worst rotation, may be in need of replacement arms, or at least a sixth guy to take some innings off the younger hurlers. 

Seattle Mariners

A change in Seattle? The M's are hellbent on contention this season, but they're lugging around a rotation ERA north of 5.00. Specifically, Mike Leake has struggled badly thus far, and there's very little in the upper rungs of the farm system. 

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels have been one of baseball's best teams thus far, but they have four starting pitchers -- Alex Meyer, Matt Shoemaker, JC Ramirez, and Nick Tropeano -- on the DL. As well, Shohei Ohtani's workload is far from certain. 

Texas Rangers

Their inclusion flows from the premise that it might be time to cut bait on Matt Moore

New York Yankees

If you Google "Matt Harvey Yankees, then you get almost 500,000 search results. So here he is. Also, Jordan Montgomery is on the DL, and Sonny Gray seems to have forgotten how to throw strikes. 

To be sure, you'd have more fits if Harvey were willing to accept a bullpen role, but that doesn't appear to be the case, at least right now ... 

Developing! Or not. 


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Publish date : 2018-05-04 22:43:00
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