While Brian Cashman trolls the world by talking openly about his phone calls with Omar Minaya — one of the Three Wise Men running the Mets — the real action this month is taking place in the stands behind the plate at various major-league and minor-league ballparks.
That’s where the scouts sit. Even in this overloaded digital information age, general managers still value the eyeball reports of trusted advisers when deciding whether to pull the trigger on a deal.
So it piqued our interest on Monday night at Yankee Stadium when Newsday’s Erik Boland reported that a Reds scout was among the talent evaluators on hand as the Yankees hosted the Braves.
Who, pray tell, could the Yankees have interest in on the last-place Reds? Could it be former Mets star Matt Harvey?
Oh, please let it be former Mets star Matt Harvey.
We all saw this coming when the Mets dumped Harvey on the Reds in early May. The hot-take jokes were all the same:
Ha, ha, ha. Harvey is going to a backwater town with no discernible nightlife and few, if any, supermodels.
Ha, ha, ha. Harvey is going to get it together and get traded to the Yankees and lead them to the World Series.
The first part we can’t speak about. Experience tells us athletes can get into trouble anywhere, but as far as we know, Harvey has been on his best behavior in Cincinnati.
The second part . . .
Harvey certainly is pitching better (he couldn’t have pitched worse this season with the Mets). His rebirth continued on Sunday when he threw 5 2⁄3 shutout innings in an 8-2 win over the NL Central-leading Brewers.
Harvey didn’t allow a baserunner until a single opened the fifth. Overall, he gave up two hits, walked none, struck out six and left the game only because of a 54-minute rain delay.
In 10 starts since joining the Reds, the 29-year-old is 4-3 with a 3.86 ERA. In his last three, it’s 3-0, 1.47. On Sunday, his fastball averaged 95.6 miles per hour and peaked at 97.2, according to Brooks Baseball.
“That’s probably the best I’ve felt since 2013,” Harvey told reporters after the game.
He started the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, you may recall, in what feels like 10 lifetimes ago for Mets fans.
The Reds are going to trade Harvey to a contender by July 31 if they can. Like that divorced couple on HGTV’s home buying and selling show “Flip or Flop,” the Reds are in the quick turnaround business when it comes to Harvey.
Back to that scout. Who among the Yankees was he in the Bronx to peruse? Not the jewels such as Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar. Not anyone in the Yankees’ lineup, really.
It had to be 23-year-old starter Jonathan Loaisiga, whom the Yankees are doing a masterful job of talking up as if he’s the next John Smoltz, Roger Clemens and Bob Feller rolled into one skinny package.
Loaisiga, who entered the day with a 2-0 record and 1.93 ERA in his first three big-league starts, is exactly the kind of arm the rebuilding Reds need. Young, talented and cheap.
On Monday, Loaisiga lasted four innings and gave up three runs.
Of course, the scout could have been there to look at the Braves, too. Atlanta is the surprise leader of the NL East and will be among the teams looking to fortify itself for the stretch run. Most times, that means a trade for pitching; no one ever has enough of it.
So Harvey could become a hot property soon. Maybe Cashman should stop trying to convince Minaya that Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard would look really swell in Yankee pinstripes and call the Reds.
Would Loaisiga for Harvey be a great trade? Who cares! It would be great theater.
Ha, ha, ha. It’s time to bring Matt Harvey home. Seriously.