Matt Harvey has finally found a home, signing with the Kansas City Royals on a minor league deal.
For months, there were literally zero rumors about Matt Harvey in free agency. The one time burgeoning Mets’ ace had fallen off the planet, unable to get even the slightest bit of interest in the wake of his horrific 2019 with the Angels. The eventual rumors about a potential trek to the KBO never materialized, leaving Harvey on the sidelines.
On Tuesday, he finally found an avenue back into the game. The Kansas City Royals signed Harvey to a minor league deal, sending him to their alternative camp.
Harvey and the Royals were already tied together. He had fired eight shutout innings in Game Five of the 2015 World Series, but lobbied to be allowed back out for the ninth. Manager Terry Collins acquiesced, until a leadoff walk and a double put the game into question. Both runs would eventually score, with the Royals winning the game in extra innings.
That 2015 campaign would be the culmination of Harvey’s career. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, he produced a 13-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.019 WHiP. In his 189.1 innings, he struck out 188 batters with 37 walks. He appeared set to be the ace the Mets had expected.
Harvey would never live up to that season. A combination of injury woes, eventually leading to Thoracic Outlet Surgery, and his own attitude problems, completely derailed his career. He had appeared to get back on track after a trade to the Reds in 2018, but was a disaster after signing as a free agent with the Angels. He lasted just 59.2 innings, posting a 7.09 ERA and a 1.542 WHiP, striking out 39 batters with 29 walks, before being released.
At this point, it is difficult to imagine that Harvey will return to form. However, he is just 31 years old, and has admitted that a change in attitude and preparation was needed. Perhaps this renewed focus can lead to Harvey once again finding some modicum of success at the major league level.
The Kansas City Royals are taking a flier on Matt Harvey. For a team in need of pitching depth, he is an interesting lottery ticket.