Matt Harvey’s exile to Cincinnati has actually gone… well. During his 11 starts with the Reds, Harvey has posted a line of 4-3 and a 3.79 era. Perhaps the most encouraging piece of information is that his velocity is up.
Lets make this clear now: he is probably never going to be ‘The Dark Knight’ ever again. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a serviceable pitcher moving forward. What I’ve taken away from his time in Cincy is this stat: an ERA+ of 109. ERA+ adjusts a pitcher’s earned run average (ERA) according to the pitcher’s ballpark (in case the ballpark favors batters or pitchers) and the ERA of the pitcher’s league. This is important because it validates, to a degree, that he can pitch in a not-so-friendly ballpark and not be a liability.
All of the statistics discussed above also send the message that Harvey is now an intriguing trade target. What landing spot would be more interesting than the Bronx and with the Yankees? Of course there are a lot of pros and cons in bringing Harvey back to New York but this juice might be worth the squeeze if you look through the correct lens. My thinking is this:
- Initially, view a potential Harvey move like the Jaime Garcia move of last year. Low expectations, low cost asset-wise, and essentially a depth arm that can help the back of the rotation.
- Truly fills a need.
- Motivation. This guy was on track for a MONSTER contract a few years ago this off-season, along with Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, but injuries and ineffectiveness, until now, have crippled that sentiment. He has to be motivated like any elite, ego driven athlete is.
- The guy
lovescraves the spotlight. If he were to be brought in, back to New York, and pitch well, go on a playoff run, potentially have an impact in the postseason, Harvey’s stock, and star, would surely rise. Plus I’m sure he’d love to show the Mets that they made a mistake in moving on from him.
- The guy
I see such a Harvey move as low risk, high reward. Maybe the Yankees could even extract Raisel Iglesias, the Reds closer, to expand the trade. A package centered around Chance Adams, Thairo Estrada+ could be an interesting starting point in bringing the Dark Knight (plus Iglesias) back to NY.