Cincinnati Reds: What if Matt Harvey isn’t traded before the deadline?

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 28: Matt Harvey #32 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Great American Ball Park on July 28, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 28: Matt Harvey #32 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Great American Ball Park on July 28, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The speculation has long been that the Cincinnati Reds would trade pitcher Matt Harvey before the MLB Trade Deadline. But, what if they don’t?

The Cincinnati Reds made a trade with the New York Mets back on May 8th. The Mets acquired catcher Devin Mesoraco and the Reds received Matt Harvey. The trade made sense for both sides, as the Mets were done with Harvey and the Reds were in need of any help in their starting rotation. Mesoraco was to be a free agent at season’s end and was buried on the bench behind Tucker Barnhart anyway.

Mesoraco has been about what you’d expect for the Mets. This year’s numbers are pretty reflective of Mesoraco’s production over his career, sans his outlier season in 2014 when he was named an All-Star. Harvey, on the other hand, has been a welcome surprise for the Reds this season.

Harvey, who was an All-Star himself in 2013, hasn’t returned to the form that was getting him mentioned as a Cy Young candidate, but he has resurrected his career somewhat since coming to the Queen City. Harvey is 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA and 56 strikeouts. That’s a stark contrast to The Dark Knight’s performance the last two seasons in New York. Harvey was 9-17 with a 5.78 ERA in 36 games.

More from Blog Red Machine

The Reds traded for Harvey in hopes that the 29-year-old would return to form. If he was able to get back on track, the Reds were expected to flip Harvey to a contender before the non-waiver MLB trade deadline and possibly pick up a decent prospect. But, here we are less than 24 hours from the deadline and Harvey is still a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

So, what if the Reds don’t trade Harvey? Is that so bad? I mean, if they were unable to get anything of value for him, shouldn’t they just hang onto him until the end of the season? He has been Cincinnati’s best starting pitcher since coming to the Reds. Aside from his outing last weekend against Pittsburgh, Harvey’s been dominant of late.

Since June 15th, Harvey’s gone 5-2 and struck out 30 batters. If you throw out the barrage of long balls the Pirates hit over the wall at Great American Ball Park, Matt Harvey has allowed only one home run over the last 157 hitters he’s faced.

What value is there in keeping Harvey as a Red? Well, winning for one. The Reds have an 8-6 record during the games that Harvey’s pitched. Now, while that’s only 2 games above .500, compared to where this ballclub was earlier in the season, anything over .500 is good.

You also have to consider Harvey’s veteran presence as a positive. Yes, Homer Bailey‘s back and he helps add experience to a very young group of Reds starters, but having more than one of those types of guys can be crucial when you’re trying to instill the work ethic, toughness, and winning attitude the Reds are trying to create.

Reds rumors: Club shows interest in Zack Wheeler. Next

So long as keeping Harvey doesn’t preclude the Reds from seeing what they’ve got in young players like Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Luis Castillo and Robert Stephenson, keeping him on the roster is not the end of the world. He provides some valuable tutelage to the young pitchers, and Cincinnati could still pursue Harvey in free agency during the offseason.