With Matt Harvey off to Los Angeles, what is next in the Cincinnati Reds pursuit of improved starting pitching?
The Dark Knight briefly rose in Cincinnati and has now left the building headed towards the West Coast. Tuesday evening the former starting pitcher for the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds, Matt Harvey, headed to the Los Angeles Angels, signing a one-year/$11M deal.
With even more money in their pockets, the Cincinnati Reds front office has many of long-suffering Reds fans growing even more anxious and borderline impatient with what direction the team will now turn. Who will the Reds look to in order to resolve its offseason quest to revamp and improve starting pitching?
Back in October, we published an article detailing what a team-friendly deal could look like for Harvey. With a 2018 salary of $5.6 million, it was thought that a two-year, team-friendly deal between $7-10M with incentives could lure Matt Harvey back to Cincinnati. We’ll never know what conversations took place between Dick Williams and Harvey’s notorious agent, Scott Boras.
However, the Reds failed to move Matt Harvey at the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline and then paraded him out in front of a Reds season ticket function late in the season. The tea leaves could have been interpreted that Matt Harvey would be a part of the Cincinnati Reds in 2019 and possibly beyond.
Bringing Matt Harvey back to Cincinnati would have been welcomed by most Reds fans. Following the abysmal start of the 2018 baseball season, the trade bringing Matt Harvey to Cincinnati did give this team a much needed, short-term shot-in-the-arm. The Cincinnati Reds responded with a 34-25 record between May 8 and July 14.
Harvey was said to have enjoyed being in Cincinnati, and seemingly was mentoring and being a leader to the young pitching staff; something that was absent with from veteran Homer Bailey. Having Harvey as a part of the 2019 plans would have been nice.
Those that weren’t upset about Harvey not being dealt at the trade deadline for at least some prospects will now second guess the Cincinnati Reds front office. What we don’t know is did Dick Williams and Nick Krall refuse to trade Harvey to a NL Central competitor named Cubs, Cardinals, or Brewers. Again, just like the negotiations with Boras, we will never truly know what realistic options existed for trading Harvey in August.
So in this offseason game of chess, what’s next for our Cincinnati Reds team? In recent days, MLB.com has flirted Dallas Keuchel‘s name out there as being a target of the Cincinnati Reds. There are some in favor of Gio Gonzalez and Anibal Sanchez who are realistic possibilities. Let’s also not lose sight that a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Alex Wood and either Matt Kemp or Yasiel Puig is still being rumored, while Sonny Gray‘s name continues to circulate as a trade possibility.
Point being, there are plenty of options that if made will make many Cincinnati Reds fans forget Matt Harvey moving on during a winter night in December. In the meantime, the rumors will continue on, articles speculating all sorts of possibilities will continue to be written, and the $23 Million Dollar Man still has a locker in the Cincinnati Reds Clubhouse.