The Dork Knight: Cubs Have Reportedly Shown Interest in…Matt Harvey?
Even with their spacious new clubhouse, I’m not sure the Cubs have room to accomodate a giant dildo. But according to HuffPost’s Andy Martino, they may have interest in Mets starter Matt Harvey. Once the anchor of a vaunted young rotation, the Dark Knight of Gotham has looked more like Batfleck since undergoing surgery in July 2016 to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome.
Cubs have shown some interest in Matt Harvey. As with O's and Rangers, unclear how serious as of yet.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 12, 2017
The issues actually began before that, with the fanfare from his masterful performance in the Mets’ 2015 World Series run just starting to die down in Queens. Harvey’s velocity had dropped across the board in that abbreviated 2016 season and then fell even further in ’17 as he struggled through shoulder issues that limited him to 92.2 innings (the same exact total he posted the previous season).
And after posting a 6.37 FIP, a career-low 6.51 K/9, and career-high 4.56, the only thing Flushing appeared to be Harvey’s career. It didn’t help that he was blamed for the presence of a sex toy in Kevin Plawecki’s locker or that team security was dispatched to his apartment when he failed to report for a Saturday game in May. As it turned out, Harvey had partied Friday night and then played a round of golf the morning of the game, after which he didn’t feel well enough to make it to Citi Field.
His Mets teammates and execs were understandably perturbed by Harvey’s behavior, which, shocker, wasn’t as easy to tolerate when he was no longer the staff ace. But it’s not like they could trade a guy who was coming off of a major surgery and who had some very obvious character and performance issues (hey, maybe that’s why he had the…oh, never mind).
But given the dearth of top-flight starting pitchers on the market and with very little in the prospect cupboard, the Mets appear to be actively looking to move Harvey. He’s not known as a great locker room guy — in fact, he’s known as something of a prima donna and could actually have a negative impact on chemistry — and he’s in his final arbitration year, but his projected $5.9 million salary for 2018 would be a steal if he even gets to within kissing distance of his former self.
The Rangers and Orioles have both engaged in talks with the Mets, with neither team making much headway to this point. I get why these teams would have interest, though. Texas has some experience with post-TOS pitchers, having signed Tyson Ross last season. That didn’t really work out too well, but you figure they’d make another gamble at the right price. Baltimore is so desperately hungry for pitching that they make sense as a possibility, even if it is for a dent-and-scratch rental.
But the Cubs? Really? Even in these times when “Team X is interested in Player X” rumors, such a marriage seems incongruous at best. While it’s true that Harvey represents the kind of buy-low bounceback candidate with whom this front office seems so enamored, he’s got a lot of baggage and doesn’t fit the profile of the players they typically bring in.
I stress typically here, since we know the Cubs have wiped their feet on the whole character-first doormat more than once over the last few years. With Harvey, though, there’s nothing to indicate that the juice would be worth the kung fu grip.
Oh, and did I mention the Tommy John surgery that cost Harvey all of 2014? I don’t think I did. Cool, so now we’re looking at a guy with questionable makeup who’s missed most or all of three of the last four seasons due to elbow and shoulder issues and who has generally been known to act like a douche. Who wouldn’t want to trade for him?
There’s no way the Cubs’ interest in Harvey is anything more than cursory at best — unless the Mets are literally giving him away — and you’re probably wondering why in the hell I’ve even spent this long going on about it. Well, if I’m being completely honest, I felt like I needed to produce enough content to justify using “dildo” in the lede. Beside that, I do actually find Harvey’s early dominance and subsequent diminution to be pretty interesting subject matter.
So what do you think: Would you take a flyer on this guy if all it cost was a couple low-profile prospects? Or would it have to be a PTBNL/cash considerations deal? Or would you call the Mets to inquire about it just to bray laughter into the phone when they made their ask?