After being connected with the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, and Milwaukee Brewers, among others, it appears that veteran pitcher Matt Harvey has finally been traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the...
...wait a minute. It appears Matt Harvey hasn’t been traded at all, and will stay with the Reds for the time being, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
Matt Harvey will be staying with the #Reds, source says, despite a flurry of trade discussions.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 31, 2018
Harvey, 29, was largely seen as a backup plan for teams that were in the market for starting pitching but either missed out on or balked at the asking price for some of the higher-profile names on the market, like Chris Archer, Kevin Gausman, and the likes. A free agent at the end of 2018, the former New York Mets ace has pitched to a decent-ish 4.44 ERA and 4.67 FIP in 73.0 IP with the Reds after being swapped from catcher Devin Mesoraco in early May, doing enough with both results and with the rediscovered velocity on his fastball to make him a decent rental opportunity at this July 31st deadline for contenders starved for pitching depth.
A deal, though, simply couldn’t be reached, likely due to the Reds asking price, if I had to wager.
That’s not necessarily a terrible thing, nor is it the final bit of trade rumor-ing we’ll hear regarding Harvey. My best guess is that the team will opt to give him another 3-4 starts in August in attempts to see him continue to work his way back to a solid starting pitcher, which will allow him to be in somewhat of a showcase during the August waiver-trade period. All it takes is one arm to go down on a contender for there to suddenly be a much larger market for him then than there was today, and that’s apparently a gamble the Reds were willing to take rather than accept merely a low-level prospect for him right this minute.
What that does to the Cincinnati rotation, though, is probably of the most importance. With Harvey still in the fold and Homer Bailey back in action, the young arms that deserve shots to start are simply going to get squeezed out of opportunities. We’ve already seen Sal Romano moved to the bullpen for a time, and this will keep each of Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed without an opening and in AAA Louisville, where they’ll likely be joined by new Red Lucas Sims.
We’ll have more on the fallout as we get a chance to digest what was otherwise an incredibly active deadline day across MLB.