Two potential landing spots for Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey was designated for assignment by the New York Mets on last Friday after he refused to be sent to the minors. The move is an unceremonious end to the right-hander’s career as a Met that, at one point, seemed destined for greatness.
Not long ago, Harvey was one of the finest starters in baseball. He made the all-star team and finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting after a 2013 season that saw him finish with a 2.01 FIP, 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 178.1 innings of work. Even after Tommy John surgery robbed him of his 2014 season, Harvey bounced back to post impressive numbers in 2015 (2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP). More serious injury concerns since then have zapped Harvey of his velocity and thus his effectiveness.
Getting back to the big leagues
It’s all gone downhill for Harvey over the last three years, and the Mets stuck with him through it all. No other organization is going to give him nearly as much leeway. But there’s always a pitching coach out there that thinks he can “fix” a former star. These two clubs could be Harvey’s only shot at getting back to the big leagues anytime soon.
The Orioles season has quickly gotten away from them. Vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette spent the offseason trying to revamp a starting rotation that had the worst ERA (5.70) in baseball. It hasn’t worked. In fact, things have gotten worse (5.75 ERA) and a team that expected to be at least semi-competitive is, instead, out of the playoff picture before Memorial Day.
Harvey could be a fit because the Orioles lack other options. Many of their top pitching prospects are still in the low minors. Also, there could soon be an opening in Baltimore if Chris Tillman’s extended issues continue. Over his last two seasons, the right-hander is 2-12 with an 8.14 ERA in 30 games. Harvey would be a better option if he can pass the O’s physical.
San Diego Padres
It’s been a perpetual rebuild for the Padres. They haven’t posted a winning record since 2010, and they seem set for another year under .500 in the tough NL West. It’s not a surprise. They didn’t expect to contend this season.
Tyson Ross and Joey Lucchesi have been carrying their starting staff, but it’s a mess beyond those two. Petco Park could cure one of Harvey’s biggest issues so far: home runs. He has already allowed six long balls in just 27 innings of work in 2018. San Diego’s starters, despite all of their troubles, have allowed the eighth fewest home runs in the league. If Harvey can cut down on the long balls, his ERA may return to an acceptable level.