5:40pm: While the Rangers have discussed pursuit of Harvey, per MLB.com’s TR Sullivan (via Twitter), the organization won’t trade for him. Indeed, GM Jon Daniels confirmed as much in an appearance on 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link). Of course, it still seems possible the organization could be involved if Harvey reaches the open market.
2:36pm: The Giants have also discussed taking a flyer on Harvey, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. San Francisco learned today that Johnny Cueto will miss the next six to eight weeks, and Madison Bumgarner remains on the disabled list until late May. They’ve been plugging in a struggling Derek Holland in the fifth spot in their rotation, though it’s not clear at all if Harvey would represent an upgrade.
12:51pm: Following one of the most high-profile DFAs in recent memory, the Mets appear to be generating some interest in former ace Matt Harvey. Andy Martino of SNY reports that that the Rangers and Mariners both have some degree of interest in acquiring the righty. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi wrote this morning that Texas’ interest is “mild,” while Martino indicates that Rangers assistant pitching coach Dan Warthen is pushing the organization to roll the dice on Harvey. Warthen was his pitching coach with the Mets prior to 2018.
While Morosi speculates about the possibility of the Orioles and Mets lining up on a deal, Martino hears that the O’s don’t have much in the way of interest. Baltimore did check in on Harvey over the winter, but Martino reports that the Mets circled back to the O’s prior to designating Harvey for assignment and found “little interest” despite the disastrous results of the Baltimore rotation thus far in 2018.
It’s not a huge surprise to see the Rangers connected to Harvey, given not only Warthen’s presence in the organization but also the team’s general approach to adding arms this offseason. The Rangers shopped for volume this winter, stockpiling veteran arms on low-cost deals (in many instances on minor league contracts) in an effort to bolster their organizational depth. Payroll was a factor in Texas’ approach, so it seems unlikely that they’d take on the full chunk of Harvey’s remaining contract — about $4.43MM — but the Mets will almost certainly be willing to include cash in any deal. The alternative, after all, is to release Harvey and simply pay him the money is owed anyway.
As for the Mariners, they’ve endured plenty of rotation struggles of their own. James Paxton’s 4.19 ERA leads Seattle starters, and their rotation as a whole has pitched to a 5.30 earned run average. There’s likely been some poor fortune at play — both xFIP and SIERA peg Mariners starters at 4.05 as a group — but the bottom-line results have not been encouraging. Erasmo Ramirez just went back on the disabled list as well, prompting the Mariners to move veteran Wade LeBlanc from a long relief role into the fifth starter’s slot.
It seems decidedly unlikely that the Mets would receive much in the way of a significant return for Harvey, whose struggles date back to Opening Day 2017. He’s earning $5.6MM this season, is a free agent in November and has undergone both Tommy John and thoracic outlet surgery — both of which (especially the latter) have contributed to his rapid decline.