When the Cincinnati Reds acquired Matt Harvey from the New York Mets their intention seemed to be to try to fix Harvey and then deal him again. The Reds shipped former All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco to the Mets for the former ace who has looked like a shell of himself after thoracic outlet surgery. Now, it appears as if the Reds are fielding calls on the right-hander.
The last most people heard of Harvey was that he was struggling with his loss of velocity and was a problem in the Mets’ clubhouse. Some in the Mets’ organization had tired of Harvey’s attitude and his play on the field wasn’t warranting keeping him around anymore. Since then, Harvey has turned it around, at least on the field and things have been quiet off the field so far.
The New York Yankees are in the market for a pitcher. The media has connected the Yankees and Mets on a Jacob deGrom deal but unless something drastic happens it is hard to imagine the Yankees and Mets getting together on a deal. So, what about Matt Harvey?
The Reds and Washington Nationals have reportedly talked about a Harvey deal that could include reliever Raisel Iglesias. There has also been some speculation in the media about the Yankees and Reds getting together on a deal for Harvey and while that once seemed laughable it actually might make some sense for both teams.
In 10 starts with the Reds, Harvey has posted a 4-3 record, 3.86 ERA, 1.99 WHIP, and has fanned 40 while walking 12 in 53.2 innings. He has given up seven home runs as well but that was to be expected in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. Over his last three starts, Harvey has posted a 1.47 ERA and struck out 14 in 18.1 innings and walking only two. Those wins have come against good teams with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers all taking the loss against the 29-year-old right-hander. He also hasn’t allowed a home run in his last four starts.
Harvey might never be the dominant pitcher he was with the Mets in 2013 and 2015 but he can still put together a nice career if his health holds up. His health history is an issue and will always follow him. However, he is adding velocity. According to Fangraphs, Harvey has added anywhere from 0.9 to 2.2 mph on his pitches, a nice step in the right direction. He may never throw as hard as he once did with the Mets but he is hitting the mid-90s with his fastball on a consistent basis.
The Yankees could easily give the Reds a couple of prospects for Harvey who is an impending free agent. He has postseason experience in New York. He would find a good role model in C.C. Sabathia in the Yankees’ clubhouse, something the Mets lacked. Harvey, who grew up a Yankees’ fan, would probably toe the line if the Yankees’ acquired him.
It would certainly be a big roll of the dice for the Yankees to acquire Harvey. But Cashman could stick it to the Mets and add a former Mets ace for what could be pennies on the dollar. Would Cincinnati say no to Thairo Estrada, Tyler Wade, and Chance Adams? Those are three pretty good prospects. Maybe it is a bit of an overpay on the Yankees’ part but Nick Krall and Brian Cashman are reasonable men who can hammer out a deal that works for both. Maybe Adams and one of those two or another prospect who seems to be blocked in the Bronx makes sense?
The Yankees adding Harvey would be an interesting play. It could be a great move for the Yankees or it could blow up in their faces. It would be a bit of a risk but it also could pay huge dividends come October and maybe beyond. If the price for other pitchers is too high perhaps Cashman rolls the dice and sees what Harvey looks like in navy blue pinstripes.