In the latest batch of Milwaukee Brewers rumors, the Crew has been connected to Matt Harvey of the division rival Cincinnati Reds.
If this was two or three years ago, acquiring Matt Harvey would’ve given the Milwaukee Brewers an ace to front their rotation for the future. But in 2018, Harvey is a pitcher full of question marks and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that GM David Stearns is currently in talks with the Reds on the former ace starting pitcher. Stearns is known to call on just about everybody. This could be due diligence, but the way Morosi words it makes it sound like there’s more to these talks than just typical due diligence.
How has Harvey Pitched?
Since joining the Reds, Harvey has been better. But he’s still not back to his ace-level form that he displayed in 2015. In 13 starts with the Reds, Harvey has a 4.50 ERA.
Harvey had a good stretch of six straight starts with at least 5.0+ innings with three runs or fewer allowed. That streak ended in his most recent start in which Harvey only went 3.2 innings while allowing eight earned runs.
He has struggled with the long ball this season, allowing 17 homers in his 21 appearances. He’s been improving, but Harvey is not back to being a dependable starter just yet.
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What would Harvey cost?
Since Harvey is a pure rental, becoming a free agent at the end of the season, he shouldn’t cost much. When teams consider the off-the-field concerns, they really shouldn’t be pressing hard to get him. Harvey should only cost a low-level prospect. Someone from Class A who isn’t a highly regarded prospect but has played well this season may be enough to entice the Reds to move Harvey.
The Reds acquired Harvey earlier this year for the sole purpose of flipping him at the deadline. Especially after his latest start, they won’t be able to ask for too much for him.
Should the Brewers acquire Harvey?
I don’t think so. He’s a known headcase who has caused problems with clubhouses in the past. Things may have changed since he joined Cincinnati, but his performance still doesn’t make it worth it. The Milwaukee Brewers have incredible clubhouse chemistry and David Stearns shouldn’t risk messing that up for Harvey.
The fact that the Brewers wouldn’t even get guaranteed control over Harvey for at least next year to help him work through his issues on the mound and potentially get him back to ace form makes it an even tougher task. Pitching coach Derek Johnson is good, but asking him to fix Harvey in less than two months only to have another team reap the benefits seems like a fool’s errand to me.
If the Milwaukee Brewers acquire Harvey, it’s only going to speak volumes about the prices on the other starting pitchers on the market.