Matt Harvey was once talked about as part of the great free agent class of the 2018 offseason. Visions of $200-million contracts probably danced in the righthander’s head during his heyday with the Mets.
But injuries turned Harvey into a mediocre or worse pitcher. He rebounded somewhat with the Reds last summer after getting traded by the Mets, and now Harvey has done pretty well for himself on the free agent market.
Multiple reports on Tuesday night said Harvey had agreed to a one-year, $11-million deal with the Los Angeles Angels that could be worth up to $14 million. The deal, which was first reported by MLB.com, is pending a physical.
The former Met turned down a chance to sign with the Angels out of high school 11 years ago. He was picked in the third round and offered a $1 million bonus. Went to the University of North Carolina instead.
Harvey had plenty of physical problems – and plenty of controversies -- in his final years as a Met. Even he conceded he “made a lot of mistakes” when he returned to Citi Field as a member of the Reds last August. Harvey will turn 30 on March 27 – two days before the 2019 season starts.
The Angels are getting a pitcher who went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 24 starts for the Reds after being traded for catcher Devin Mesoraco last May 8. The Mets had designated Harvey for assignment after four starts and four relief appearances, during which he went 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA.
It was a far cry from when Harvey took over the town as “The Dark Knight” in 2013. Harvey went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA and started the All-Star Game at Citi Field.
But Harvey missed the 2014 season after Tommy John surgery. He returned with a vengeance the next season, going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA and throwing 189 1/3 innings in the regular season and another 26 2/3 in the Mets’ run to the World Series.
Throwing that many innings that soon after Tommy John surgery may have hurt Harvey’s future – and his future earnings. But he said in August that he had no regrets.
"I definitely gave it my all,” Harvey said, “and obviously my body couldn't handle it."