Matt Harvey agrees to minor league deal with Orioles

Less than 24 hours after Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias told the media that he wanted to sign another veteran starting pitcher, the club has reached agreement with right-hander Matt Harvey on a minor league contract.

A source confirmed the agreement with Harvey, 31, the seventh-overall pick of the Mets in the 2010 draft out of the University of North Carolina. The deal is pending the completion of a physical.

Harvey-Throws-Royals-Sidebar.jpgHarvey, joining his fourth team since 2018, provides more starting depth for an organization that’s rolling the dice on bounceback seasons at a low cost. Not much of a gamble.

Elias reached agreements earlier in the month with veterans Wade LeBlanc and Félix Hernández on minor league deals and invitations to spring training. The total guaranteed financial commitment is $1.7 million.

Harvey was the National League’s starting pitcher in the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field and placed fourth in Cy Young voting after posting a 2.27 ERA and 0.931 WHIP in 24 starts and averaging 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He allowed only 0.4 home runs per nine frames.

“The Dark Knight” missed the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and went 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA and 1.019 WHIP in 29 starts in 2015, but he never made it back to that level of production.

Injuries and ineffectiveness turned Harvey into a journeyman. His health issues also included thoracic outlet syndrome, which required surgery and cut short his 2016 season, and a stress fracture in the scapula that limited him to 19 appearances in 2017.

The Mets moved Harvey to the bullpen in 2018 and announced that he would be designated for assignment after he refused an option to the minors. They traded him to the Reds on May 8 for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash considerations, and he went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.250 WHIP in 24 starts.

Harvey made 12 starts with the Angels in 2019 after signing a one-year contract with $11 million guaranteed, allowing 47 earned runs and 63 hits and walking 29 batters in 59 2/3 innings. The Angels placed him on the disabled list with a back strain and released him in July.

He was 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA and 2.743 WHIP last year in seven games (four starts) with the Royals totaling 11 2/3 innings.

The journey also has included a minor league deal with the Athletics in August 2019.

In eight seasons and 152 games, Harvey has gone 44-52 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.247 WHIP over 838 2/3 innings.

The Orioles may not be done checking the free agent market for pitching, though I’m told that nothing is imminent.

Pitchers and catchers hold their first spring training workout on Wednesday. Harvey, assuming there are no issues with his physical, will join a rotation competition that opened up a bit with the Alex Cobb trade to the Angels.

Harvey is the latest potential trade chip for July.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported the Harvey agreement. The Orioles haven’t made an announcement.

According to a source familiar with the deal, it’s worth $1 million if Harvey makes the club.

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