The Orioles have selected the contract of veteran right-hander Matt Harvey, per a club announcement. The move fills Baltimore’s 40-man roster and assures Harvey of a spot on the Opening Day club. Harvey had an opt-out clause in his contract yesterday, which gave the O’s 48 hours to add him to the roster or cut him loose, Dan Connolly of The Athletic tweets.
Harvey inked a minor league deal with the O’s back in mid-February and reported to camp as non-roster invitee this spring. He’s started three Grapefruit League contests, during which he’s yielded six runs on 10 hits and a walk with six punchouts through 10 innings of work. He and fellow veterans Felix Hernandez and Wade LeBlanc have been vying for spots on an extremely inexperienced pitching staff. Lefty John Means is the only other true lock for the rotation, though young righty Dean Kremer and southpaw Keegan Akin both seem likely to leave Spring Training with starting jobs.
Harvey, 32 this weekend, is years removed from his status as one of the game’s most promising young aces and from the “Dark Knight” moniker that took baseball by storm. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Harvey was in the big leagues by 2012 and flat-out dominated opposing hitters early in his career. Through his first 427 big league frames, the righty notched an outstanding 2.53 ERA while striking out 26.6 percent of the batters he faced against an excellent 5.6 percent walk rate.
Injuries, however, have wreaked havoc on what looked to be a brilliant career in the making. Harvey missed the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery, and while he was terrific during his 2015 return, he dealt with shoulder discomfort in 2016 before ultimately undergoing the much more ominous thoracic outlet surgery. The general track record of pitchers coming back from a thoracic outlet procedure isn’t great in the first place, and Harvey is one of few pitchers who underwent both Tommy John surgery and thoracic outlet surgery in a span of under three years.
Unsurprisingly, Harvey simply hasn’t been the same since. He regained some velocity following a trade to the Reds in 2018 and parlayed a decent showing with Cincinnati into a one-year, $11MM free-agent deal with the Angels. However, that contract proved regrettable for the Angels, who released Harvey that July. A 2020 comeback attempt with the Royals was similarly unproductive.
Overall, since returning from throacic outlet surgery, Harvey has tallied 319 innings in the Majors and limped to a 6.09 earned run average. He’s yielded 365 hits, including 67 home runs, in those 319 frames while watching both his strikeout and walk rates trend in the wrong direction. His fastball, which averaged 95.9 mph at his peak, sat at 93.2 mph with the Angels in 2019 and 94.1 mph with Kansas City last year (when he was working in shorter stints).
The Orioles will hope to catch lightning in a bottle and see Harvey bounce back to an extent, although at this point the expectations for a rebound should be rather low. Harvey’s deal guarantees him just a $1MM base salary, so it’s a low-cost roll of the dice for a tanking Orioles club.
…and I thought Bryan Shaw winning a job yesterday was bad lmao
He won’t make it past 10 appearances
Yeah, I know the org has to look at a guy’s ST performance, but Shaw has been toast for the past 4 years, and I seriously doubt he’s suddenly recaptured the magic. Shaw might make it a month as long as Francona uses him in low leverage situations.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Harvey keeps cashing in when the last season he had that was good was in 2015. That’s impressive to me.
From one sad Halo fan to the O’s fans….beware. It’s not what it seems to be. Hope he does better with you guys than with us. The Dark Knight returns to the East…
Because he’s the hero Anaheim deserves, but not the one it needs right now.
Nice wishes. Thanks. He’s been throwing well at times this spring. Still has velocity but needs a better pitch mix which the O’s are working with him on. (As for Angels: I hope Bundy does better with you guys than us. Seems well on his way.)
It’s not what he says, but what he does that defines him.
MT in Baltimore
Good call. He will stabilize things a bit in that Rotation. King Felix should also make that roster at some point when his arm is better.
I’m a huge Matt Harvey fan. I even met him once, seemed like a great guy. I hope the best for him. But I’m pretty sceptical he can still pitch.
Big fan as well. Took NY by storm. But i saw a game a few years back with Angels and he is not the same pitcher at all. I hate to say it but he is done.
Long Live #15
He will have to reinvent himself like some power pitches have done in the past.
I will forever take immense satisfaction out of the memory of watching him throw a temper tantrum like a child and then the Royals breaking him.
Not exactly how it happened, but ok.
We must have watched a different game.totally not how that went down.
Immense satisfaction? Yikes, you may want to check into getting a life at some point.
The O’s have nothing to lose here. Their younger pitchers (Means, Kremmers, Aiken) haven’t shown much, and may (a) need more time or (b) are just lousy. Either way, the Dark Knight is a filler (as are Leblanc, Felix), and who knows, maybe flip-able at the deadline.
The re-build is taking forever, and really shouldn’t, considering the O’s resources. But recent signings (Galvis, Franco, the pitchers) are pretty good low-cost investments.
Taking forever? Is there a timeline? The orioles rebuild is one of the most attacked things in baseball. They’re a small market organization who has been ran into the ground for years by Peter Angelos.
They fine have new leadership and have turned a bottom picking farm system into a number 5 in 3 years. Pretty impressive. Given they play in the toughest division in baseball, they could win 100 games a year and still might not make the playoffs.
Regardless of how well they perform, it’s going to be extremely difficult for them. Elias and Co. have been extremely impressive so far.
Yea the Orioles’ rebuild has just begun… not sure how anyone could say it’s “taking forever.”
And of course anyone who buys the “rebuilding” branding assumes, by necessity, that the Yanks, Red Sox, Rays and Jays will just stand there with their fingers up their bottoms for as long as sad rebuilding goes on.
It’s a nonsense concept to begin with.
I think rebuilding is generally a nonsense concept as well but the O’s got caught with their pants down, so to speak… once you manage to lose over 100 games, you’ve really no choice.
Oh ya, there’s no doubt they were a holy mess. That’s why that while I favor a salary “floor”, I think teams should be granted a one year hiatus from that requirement when they are “caught with their pants down”.
There remains no excuse for a team with a decent (not great, but definitely the O’s aren’t “poor”) revenue/profit makeup NOT to try to be competitive every year. International Signings? The Yanks sign high-grade prospects; so do the Dodgers. Mid market teams like the Cards and Indians do it all the time. Small market teams like the Rays do it all the time. Money has nothing to do with it, especially now as it is all regulated.
Draft choices? Ya, like Mark Appel and Tim Beckham? Or the guy who looks good, but suffers injuries, or has personal problems, or just plain and simple under-performs.
O’s attendance has just about halved in the past few years; you never, ever get that money back. It’s as much a sunken cost as Chris Davis. In fact, it’s more so. It’s shutting the lights off early in your restaurant because you’re worried about the electric bill. And it’s not like smart folks like Angelos doesn’t knows this; of course they do.
So maybe they would only win 7 more games if they signed (e.g.) Archer and Odorizzi. Leaving aside their potential “flip-a-bility”, that could very well be that 7. That’s 77 (short 4 of .500) instead of 70. That’s a pretty huge gap, especially for fan appreciation.
And ultimately, fan appreciation = fannies in the seats and eyeballs on MASN. And that makes further moves possible.
Well put @j0v10098.
Kremmers? You mean Kremer? It’s literally spelled out in the article above your comment. Means has pitched well. Akin and KREMER are rookies. They have a lot of talent in the upper and lower minors now in Baumann, Lowther, Wells, Rodriguez, and Hall.
Elias has had 1 full season and 1 60 game season. Not sure how that’s “taking forever.”.
I don’t get the hostility towards the O’s young pitchers. When you say the “younger pitchers haven’t shown much” I’m wondering how you’re making that evaluation. Means, who was never on a top prospect list, has tossed 200 innings of just slightly sub-4.00 ERA baseball when nobody had expectations he’d make the O’s fans in Birdland forget Mike Cuellar ever existed Kremer and Akin just arrived last season and have less than 50 IP in the Majors combined between the two of them and they’re both under 26. What expectations do you have for pitchers like these three?
He is more like the Adam West Batman now. And not a young Adam West.
Matt Harvey stinks, but the Orioles are super stinky.
This was a low risk/decent reward move for the Orioles; nothing more, nothing less. Harvey put in the work this offseason, as has been documented. If they run him out there every five days and he’s competitive, he will be flipped at the deadline. If he stinks up the joint, someone else will step in. The O’s have a now solid farm system and will be competitive very, very soon.
I thought Matt Harvey was dead.
Just his career
He was fun to watch early in his career. If he can maintain 94 mph there’s a chance at regaining relevance. I’m rooting for him.
This is why I laugh at people saying don’t sign a long term deal early in.. was offered around 100 million in a long term deal but got greedy.. waited and then never cashed in big time like he could have.. Injuries happen.. Owners gamble on team. Friendly deals.. sometimes pays off but can backfire too.. that’s why gambling isn’t always smart.. how much do u need?
PSA: Start any batter facing Harvey in Fantasy Baseball this year
This seems like a “between the ears” thing to me. His stuff looks fine, but no command or conviction
He had a type of surgery that very few pitchers have ever come back from successfully. It’s not a mental thing. It’s the injury.
Keep telling yourself that. The guy never put in the work. Injuries may very well have derailed his career, but we won’t ever know. What we do know, he cared more about partying than he did baseball.
But, we do know. Matt Harvey pre-injury was very good. Matt Harvey post-injuries is very bad. The stats tell the story.
My takeaway from what you wrote is a player can come back from anything if they “put in the work.” That simply isn’t true, especially for a pitcher.
Baltimore is trying hard for that top pick.
Few players in recent history have milked stats from years ago like Matt Harvey. He has nothing to offer a major league team.
Even if he sucks for 10 starts. It’s only $1m and it keeps Baltimore from starting the clock on a rookie during a tank season.
And it gets them 9-10 losses closer to Leiter.
Leiter is coming out this year. No way he falls to Baltimore: he’s going #1 or #2 most likely. He definitely doesn’t get past Boston @ #4. Baltimore has the #5 pick.
I’m guessing the O’s are the only major league team that Harvey had the slightest chance of being considered for a modicum of barely making the roster as the last man out of the bullpen in a 29-0 rout when everyone has left the stadium and there’s already 2 strikes on the hitter and the umpires are literally lighting up cigarettes and most of the lights in the stadium have been turned off.
Orioles or Pirates: who has the worst pitching staff? I keep thinking it’s the Pirates, but then again they don’t have Matt Harvey…
Pirates. Next week, when the O’s DFA Harvey
Ultimately see him pitching out of the pen and I think he can find success there.
Brick House Coffee Tables Inc
They need 25 guys to each give them 60-75 innings to get through this season. Harvey is probably not the 26th worst pitcher in the Orioles’ organization. Let him throw his 75 low leverage innings (because really all Orioles innings are low leverage this year) and send him on his way with some crab cakes from G&M.
I guess this means they won’t pick up Felix. Bummer.
I like the Matt Harvey move for Baltimore. They are making sure they get the #1 pick. Not taking any chances with winning games.
I think it’s also important to remember that a lot of pitchers aren’t going to see big innings pitched totals this year. If the O’s can save some wear on a young arm but trotting Harvey out for 50-60 innings this season, it’s a win.
Pitching for the Orioles now?
New nickname is Dark Slight
I am amazed at how much so many know about a supposedly crappy team as the Orioles. Seems to me John Means was an all-star in 2019. Kremer will end up being an every day starter in the big leagues. Michael Baumann could arrive in July or August. Mountcastle has a legitimate shot to be the American league rookie of the year. Put him in the lineup with Santander, Mancini, and a healthy Austin Hayes and they won’t be last in the AL East, let alone all of baseball.
How dare you make sense
In other words the O’s are hurting for starting pitching.