Should the San Diego Padres take a chance on Matt Harvey?
Matt Harvey, who started Game 1 of the 2015 World Series for the New York Mets against the Kansas City Royals, will be designated for assignment.
Harvey will be designated for assignment on May 5, according to several reports. The decision was made after Harvey reportedly told the Mets that he refused to agree to a minor league contract with the organization.
Harvey made his debut with the Mets in 2012, and appeared to be on his way to a successful career as a starting pitcher. He was a National League All-Star selection in 2013, and finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting. Harvey was the National League’s starting pitcher in the 2013 All-Star Game, pitching in front of Mets fans at Citi Field.
Harvey had Tommy John surgery after the 2013 season, and missed all of 2014. He returned in April 2015. Harvey won 13 games that season, and was an important piece of a team that won the National League Pennant. The Mets defeated the Dodgers in five games in the 2015 NLDS, and swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. New York lost to the Royals in five games in the World Series.
What was thought to be a promising career slowly morphed into a downward spiral, starting in 2016. Harvey had a 4-10 record through 17 starts with a 4.86 ERA. That season, he began seeing issues with both the velocity on his fastball, and his command.
Harvey was placed on the 15-day DL in June of that season. He later had thoracic outlet decompression surgery and missed the remainder of the 2016 season. He did not return to the mound until spring training in 2017.
Early in the 2017 season, it appeared that Harvey was returning to the success he had in 2013 and in 2015. That changed, however, beginning in May. Harvey was given a three-game suspension by the Mets after he failed to show up to Citi Field on May 7.
It was later revealed that Harvey stayed out late the night before, and then played golf that morning. According to an ESPN report from May 7, 2017, a source close to Harvey said that he suffered from a migraine, and stayed away from Citi Field due to a miscommunication.
In June of 2017, Harvey suffered a stress fracture in his right scapula. He had surgery and was out for six weeks. Harvey made 18 starts in 2017, going 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA. Shortly after his surgery, a report from NJ.com surfaced that said he was seen partying with friends in the Hamptons. The team was on a road trip at the time.
Harvey was off to a rough start at the start of 2018, and the Mets moved him from the starting rotation to the bullpen. He refused to talk to reporters after his second relief appearance of the season.
Harvey’s career with the Mets comes to an end, with the pitcher who earned the nickname “The Dark Knight” posting a 34-37 record with a 3.66 ERA. His ERA was at 7.00 when it was announced he would be designated for assignment.
Once Harvey is DFA’d, the Mets will have seven days to either trade Harvey to another team, or release him outright.
The San Diego Padres have seen their fair share of starting pitching struggles in 2018. Bryan Mitchell, who was acquired in the offseason from the New York Yankees in a trade that included Chase Headley and the $13 million he is owed this season, has recorded a 6.98 BB/9 through 29.2 innings. It’s still early, but the Padres might lose patience if Mitchell doesn’t gain control of his command.
Could the Padres take a chance on Harvey? Tyson Ross, who saw a dip in his career after an injury, is now back with the team, and has been one of the team’s best starters so far. Besides, pitching coach Darren Balsley has been called a “miracle worker,” in the past, getting the most out of pitchers who struggled before arriving in San Diego.
The Padres have called up prospects already to strengthen their rotation. It’s not likely they call up anymore in the near future. If they wanted to find a pitcher to replace Mitchell in the rotation, should Harvey be that option?
The one thing that could deter the Padres from adding Harvey would be not his numbers, or even his injury history, but his behavior. The Mets played a three-game series Petco Park earlier this season. A news report surfaced from WFAN that said Harvey was seen partying in Beverly Hills the night before he pitched an inning of relief. In that appearance, he gave up a home run to Franchy Cordero in a 5-1 Mets win.
Matt Harvey will be designated for assignment by the Mets on May 5.