The Oakland A’s have signed pitcher Matt Harvey to a minor league contract, reports insider Jon Heyman on Wednesday. He’ll report to Triple-A Las Vegas, adds Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
The 30-year-old Harvey signed with the Angels last winter, on a one-year deal worth $11 million. However, he was lit up in 12 starts for the Halos, and was released in late July.
Harvey, 2019 LAA: 7.09 ERA, 59⅔ ip, 39 Ks, 29 BB, 13 HR, 6.35 FIP
The right-hander made only three quality starts out of those 12 appearances, including one against the A’s in March, and he had four games in which he allowed more runs than innings pitched. His .390 xwOBA is the third-worst in the majors among the most prolific 149 starters in the league.
Oakland’s current rotation is humming along nicely, between Mike Fiers, Brett Anderson, Chris Bassitt, and July trade additions Tanner Roark and Homer Bailey. They also have Sean Manaea set to return soon from the 60-day injured list, and top prospect Jesus Luzardo knocking on the door.
Sure, why not? You can never have too much starting pitching depth, so Harvey is one more experienced arm to add to the list of backups in Vegas. If he stinks in Triple-A then no harm done, and if he bounces back then he’s free depth. It wouldn’t be the first time the A’s picked up a seemingly washed-up starter and then squeezed some useful innings out of him.
Don’t hold your breath, though. Harvey hasn’t had a good year since 2015, just after returning from Tommy John surgery but before a 2016 operation to address thoracic outlet syndrome. That said, before the major injuries he was once a budding ace for the Mets, earning an All-Star berth in 2013 and finishing fourth for the Cy Young that same season.
The A’s reportedly had interest in Harvey last winter before he signed with the Angels. Instead, Oakland spent around the same $11 million on Fiers, Anderson, and Marco Estrada, ending up with two good starters for roughly the same price the Halos paid for Harvey to flop. Now the A’s have Harvey too, just in case he turns things back around before year’s end.