One way to get New York Mets fans riled up is to start talking about Matt Harvey and then just step back and watch chaos unfold.
Harvey’s career has seen a rapid ascension towards the absolute peak of the sport in a huge market followed by injuries and a fair bit of tabloid-esque drama. After a 2013 season that saw him finish in the top 5 of Cy Young voting and a strong 2015 campaign, Harvey has been a shell of his former self in recent years. Since 2016, the lowest ERA in a season he has posted is 4.86 and he has seen his FIP and strikeout rates regress as well. On top of that, there have been issues with him partying and failing to show up on time for practices/games/etc. which ultimately led to him being unceremoniously shown the down by the Mets.
After finishing the 2018 season with the Reds in another “meh” performance, Harvey found himself as a free agent this offseason and now it looks like he has a new home.
Source: Matt Harvey has agreed to a deal with the Angels.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 19, 2018
For the Angels, this deal makes sense. Harvey is not likely to be a particularly costly deal and with Shohei Ohtani not likely to pitch any time soon, this is a team in desperate need of pitching as they try to take advantage of their already perilous window for contention. Early reports are that the deal is for one year, so if things do not work out then there is little long-term risk.
For Harvey, this is a chance for him to rebuild his value and allow him another chance to get a real payday next offseason. Whether or not his body will be able to put up the performances that captivated fans is an open question, but given all of the baggage associated with him....well, a one year deal on a team that has a chance to be decent was likely his best shot. Another open question is whether having Harvey close to Los Angeles and the accompanying night life is going to end well....but we will just have to wait and see about that.
In 155 innings in 2018 (32 appearances), Harvey posted a 4.94 ERA and 4.57 FIP with 131 strikeouts.