Could former New York Mets hurler Matt Harvey make a return to New York?
It’s a long-shot, but it’s something the Bronx Bombers might want to consider.
All recent reports have indicated that the New York Yankees are going hard after a left-handed arm in an attempt to bolster their pitching staff for the stretch run.
That immediately takes the righty Harvey out of the running, right?
With one week remaining before Major League Baseball’s Jul. 31 trade deadline, the Yankees are linked with the likes of Madison Bumgarner, Mike Minor, and Robby Ray — all southpaws.
It’s understandable as to why they are looking to add some left-handed clout to the rotation seeing as it’s been difficult for the organization to consistently rely on James Paxton, JA Happ, and the swansong-ing CC Sabathia.
However, the Yankees can’t afford to be picky in situations like this, especially if they believe that starting pitching is the one factor that could derail a World Series title.
New York has done its due diligence on righties, as well. Toronto Blue Jays All-Star Marcus Stroman, along with a pair of Mets in Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard have also been rumored to be on the Yankees’ radar.
While a trade for assistance is on the way — Yanks’ GM Brian Cashman said it will happen — a smaller move on the free-agent market could provide the organization with low-cost, secondary help.
That’s where Harvey comes in.
The Los Angeles Angels released the 30-year-old on Sunday after a horrendous half-season experiment.
Harvey continued to be a shell of his former self, going 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA in 12 starts this season.
What a fall from grace it’s been.
Harvey was tabbed as the next big thing in 2012 and quickly became one of the game’s best young pitchers. In his first three MLB seasons — which included a missed 2014 campaign due to Tommy John surgery — he sported a 2.53 ERA.
But the avalanche of injuries, headlined by thoracic outlet syndrome which led to the removal of a rib, forced Harvey to basically re-learn how to effectively throw a baseball. A variety of off-field issues didn’t help his standing in New York, either.
From 2016-2017, Harvey’s ERA ballooned to 5.78 before he was relegated to the bullpen early on in the 2018 season. With a 7.00 ERA and a refusal to be demoted down to triple-A, Harvey was traded to the Cincinnati Reds where he went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA.
Not exactly great, but there was evidence that the Harvey of old could still be reclaimed.
Why after a disastrous start to the 2019 season should the Yankees even entertain the thought of taking a flyer on Harvey?
If there is one place on the planet he could be restored, it will be in the Bronx.
Harvey grew up a Yankees fan, idolized Derek Jeter, and made no secrets about it while he was a member of the Mets.
There would be no greater revitalization of the veteran than by simply putting on the uniform of his childhood team.
In his one start at Yankee Stadium back in 2015, Harvey put on a show. He went 8.2 innings and allowed just two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.
He’s not the same pitcher now, but there is still the chance he could find a sliver of what made him great with the Mets in the right situation.
Now would be the perfect time for the Yankees to find out seeing as his value can’t be any lower.
Cashman could bring in Harvey on a bargain deal for the last two months of the regular season to add another option to the shaky rotation.
With a comfortable lead atop the American League East, the Yankees could afford to use two games as a tryout for Harvey. At this point, August and September will be a tune-up for the playoffs.
If Harvey struggles as he did in Los Angeles, then the experiment is over.
If there is any indication, however, that he has something left in the tank, then the Yankees could stumble upon the find of the summer and bolster their pitching staff in the most unlikely way possible.