APRIL 8: Baltimore announced they’ve signed Harvey to a minor league contract. He’ll make a prorated $1MM salary for any time spent in the big leagues, reports Dan Connolly of the Athletic, with a $500K assignment bonus in the event of a trade.
APRIL 7: The Orioles are close to bringing right-hander Matt Harvey back to the organization on a minor league deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The Boras Corporation client will report to extended Spring Training and build up toward a potential debut relatively early in the season.
Harvey, 33, spent the 2021 season in Baltimore and soaked up 127 2/3 innings while getting knocked around to the tune of a 6.27 ERA. His fastball, which once averaged 96.9 mph, sat at 93.6 mph, while his 16.3% strikeout rate was among the lowest marks of his career. Harvey’s 6.4% walk rate was considerably better than the league average, but the once-vaunted righty didn’t give much other reason to hope for a return to his “Dark Knight” form.
The Orioles, however, aren’t attempting to compete in 2022 anyhow and need some extra arms to eat innings in a similar role that Harvey held last season. He clearly made a solid impression on the organization and in the clubhouse, so he’ll have the opportunity to return for a second season.
Harvey was in the spotlight this offseason as a witness in the trial of former Angels communications director Eric Kay, who has been charged with providing opioids that led to the death of Tyler Skaggs. Harvey acknowledged on the stand that he has previously used opioids and other drugs, particularly during his time with the Mets, but the right-hander has by all accounts moved past that history of drug abuse. Orioles GM Mike Elias acknowledged to reporters that Harvey’s role in the Kay/Skaggs trial does make it a “very unique situation” (link via Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun).