Mets Should Consider Signing Matt Harvey To Minor League Deal

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TAICHUNG, TAIWAN – MARCH 09: Matt Harvey #43 of Team Italy pitching in the bottom of the 3rd inning during the World Classic Pool A game between Italy and Cuba at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on March 09, 2023 in Taichung, Taiwan. reacted later. , / Yung Chuan Yang/Getty Images

matt harvey The one who’s pitching for Team Italy in the World Classic isn’t Matt Harvey who burst onto the scene mets Was one of the best pitchers in in 2012, by 2013, and was a full-fledged Bulldog in 2015.

Gone is the Dark Knight, replaced by The Godfather, whom Harvey is now calling himself, as the anchor of Italy’s staff.

To watch Harvey pitch now is to observe someone who, at 33, is trying to reinvent himself, his fastball in the mid-90s is gone — along with his once-vaunted Slider too. Harvey’s fastball now clocks in at nearly 90 mph, and it is clear that he will never again be the guy who knocks out opposing hitters.

In two starts for Italy, Harvey had a 1.29 ERA in 7.0 innings, allowing four hits, walking only one, and striking out three. No conclusions should be drawn from those statistics, at least not too quickly, because Harvey faces competition. But what is clear is that he is a very different pitcher in 2021 than he was with the Baltimore Orioles — the last time he pitched in the majors.

In 2021, Harvey’s average four-seam fastball was 94.5 mph in 2020 with the Kansas City Royals and 93.6 mph after 93.2 mph in 2019 for the Los Angeles Angels. When Harvey was at his best (with the Mets in 2013 and 2015), his fastball was usually around 97 mph.

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The aforementioned blazing fastball (and Harvey’s slider) disappeared after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which he had in 2016. And in the years that followed, as Harvey tried to succeed as a mate and eventually an Angel, Royal and Oriole seemed like he was still trying to be the dominant man he was. not anymore.

In listening to Harvey, He’s comfortable, comfortable with who he is now as a pitcher — and the fact that the heights he reached with the Mets in the 2015 World Series are a world away from where he is now.

In discussing Harvey, it can’t be overlooked that he is coming off a 60-game suspension stemming from his distribution revelations, which he spoke about while testifying during Eric’s trial. .

In the trial where Kay was found guilty of supplying drugs that led to the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs in July 2019, Harvey also discussed his prior drug use, including cocaine and oxycodone,

There is no way to treat the above differently. However, Harvey is no longer the same person he was four years ago. And an argument can be made that he deserves another chance in the majors, which will almost certainly start with a minor league deal.

It should be the Mets giving him that deal, actually bringing him home.

Nov. 1, 2015;  New York City, NY, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey reacts after being struck out the side in the fourth inning in Game Five of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field.

Nov. 1, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey reacts after being struck out the side in the fourth inning in Game Five of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A big part of it is emotional.

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Harvey should have been a perennial All-Star and career mate. he was originally mets jacob degrom Before then most Mets fans knew who deGrom was.

It was Harvey whose arrival in 2012 gave fans a glimpse into the future, although it took a few years for the team to get there.

It was Harvey who started the All-Star Game at Citi Field in 2013 and fought like hell to finish Game 5 of the 2015 World Series.

We’ll never know whether Harvey, who threw 189.1 regular season innings in 2015 before tossing another 26.2 in that year’s postseason, developed thoracic outlet syndrome because of the mileage he suffered his first season back from Tommy John surgery. I kept it on my arm. ,

But do know that Harvey briefly put his future on the line while doing everything in his power to help clinch the Mets and their fans a World Series title.

There were some off-field issues with Harvey during his time at Queens. Yes. But he is not that man anymore.

Before Harvey re-emerged with Italy, it was clear he still wanted to pitch badly. A look at his Instagram shows his workouts and throwing sessions. This is not someone who wants to put an end to his big league dreams.

How incredible would it be if Harvey’s dream continued with the Mets, the team he originally signed up for?

Maybe the Mets sign Harvey and he never makes it back to the majors. Or perhaps he continues to refine this new version of himself and becomes a solid rotation option — or a relief pitcher, where his stuff can play maybe a little.

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Is the 2023 version of Harvey a better depth starter than this? jose buto Or joey luchesi, Could he be a bullpen option if starting doesn’t work out? The Mets should find out.