Saturday, May 21, 2022

Orioles nearing minor-league deal to bring back Matt Harvey, per report

Orioles nearing minor-league deal to bring back Matt Harvey, per report

Harvey reportedly could be subject to a suspension stemming from his testimony during the Eric Kay trial


The Baltimore Orioles are nearing an agreement with free-agent right-hander Matt Harvey on a minor-league contract, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Harvey is expected to report to extended spring training to build up his arm strength.

Harvey, who celebrated his 33rd birthday back in March, started 28 games for the Orioles last season. He posted a 6.27 ERA (73 ERA+) and a 2.57 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 127 innings. His contributions were estimated to have been below the replacement-level threshold, per Baseball-Reference’s calculations. 

A star with the New York Mets in his younger days, Harvey has dealt with injuries and off-the-field turbulence that has limited his effectiveness. He hasn’t been a league-average starter for more than a stretch since the 2015 season. Indeed, over the last six seasons, he’s appeared in 115 games and has accumulated a 5.92 ERA. 

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Nevertheless, Harvey will provide the Orioles with some additional pitching depth. Baltimore’s staff isn’t a strong point, and it’s anyone’s guess as to how many arms they’ll burn through this season trying to find a tolerable starting five. As it stands, the Orioles are expected to trot out a rotation that includes John Means, free-agent signing Jordan Lyles, Tyler Wells, and Bruce Zimmermann. The Orioles have a number of candidates for the fifth starter’s job, such as Dean Kramer and Keegan Akin.

Harvey made headlines over the offseason for his testimony during the trial of former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay that concerned the death of Harvey’s teammate Tyler Skaggs. Harvey admitted to distributing drugs to Skaggs during the trial, and a report from ESPN indicated that he could be subject to discipline from Major League Baseball as a result. No punishment has been handed down as of yet, however.

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