Matt Harvey’s just under two weeks into his time with the Athletics organization, and the union between the two sides might not last much longer. The right-hander told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the minor league contract he signed with the team Aug. 14 includes a chance to opt out this Thursday. It’s unclear how interested Harvey is in taking advantage of that opportunity, but Slusser posits that the club might not have room to call him up in the coming days.
Harvey made his third start for the Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas on Tuesday, when he surrendered four runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings. Harvey was much more effective in his previous two outings, combining for 10 frames of five-hit, two-run ball with 11 strikeouts against no walks. That was unquestionably one of the best two-start stretches of 2019 for the 30-year-old Harvey, who limped to a 7.09 ERA/6.35 FIP with 5.88 K/9 and 4.37 BB/9 over 59 2/3 frames with the Angels before they released him July 23. The Halos ate the rest of the former Mets ace’s $11MM salary in the process.
With roughly a month left in the regular season, Harvey would like to showcase himself in the bigs before another trip to the open market in the winter, Slusser notes. Ideally for Harvey, he’ll be able to enter some team’s rotation before the season’s out. It’s in question whether he’ll be able to do that as an Athletic, though, with Slusser pegging him as a relief candidate for the club.
The wild card-contending A’s are riding with a rotation of Mike Fiers, Chris Bassitt, Tanner Roark, Brett Anderson and Homer Bailey at the moment, and rehabbing left-handers Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo may be above Harvey on the starting pecking order when they’re healthy enough to return to the majors. Meanwhile, the A’s might prefer righties Paul Blackburn and Daniel Mengden to Harvey for a bullpen spot, per Slusser, which could help influence him to exercise his opt-out clause.