The Orioles have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Matt Harvey, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports.
Baltimore was known to be looking for veteran pitching depth, and the O’s already brought in another prominent name in Felix Hernandez earlier this month on a minors contract. King Felix will now be joined by the Dark Knight in competition for a spot in the Orioles’ rotation.
Whether Harvey sticks as a starting pitcher or perhaps is shifted to the bullpen is a question to be determined. Since undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in 2016, Harvey has an ungainly 6.09 ERA over 319 major league innings with the Mets, Reds, Angels, and Royals. After inking a minor league deal with Kansas City last year, Harvey posted an 11.57 ERA over 11 2/3 innings for the Royals, allowing six home runs in that brief stint.
Three of Harvey’s seven appearances with K.C. came as a reliever, which marked his first bullpen work since the Mets removed him from the rotation after struggling early in the 2018 season. If he can’t crack Baltimore’s pitching staff, it seems likely that Harvey would embrace a full-on conversion to relief pitching as a way of potentially sticking on a big league roster and getting his career back on track.
The seventh overall pick of the 2010 draft, Harvey immediately burst onto the scene with excellent numbers in 2012-13, and he finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2013. (His new teammate Hernandez, incidentally, finished eighth in the AL Cy Young race that same season.) After missing the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery, Harvey rebounded with another strong year to help lead the Mets to the NL pennant in 2015. Unfortunately, mounting injuries and off-the-field issues clouded Harvey’s remaining years in the Big Apple before he was dealt to the Reds in May 2018.