Matt Harvey, Angels Agree to 1-Year, $11 Million Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Matt Harvey throws in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Matt Harvey will have a new home in 2019 as the Los Angeles Angels announced his contract on Friday.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com initially reported the deal on Dec. 18.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports and Jon Heyman of Fancred, Harvey's deal could be worth as much as $14 million, with a base salary of $11 million and up to $3 million in incentives.

Harvey has had an interesting year. His declining performances and habit of popping up in the tabloids caused the Mets to designate him for assignment and eventually deal him to the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco.

The Mets had experimented with Harvey as both a starter and reliever to no avail, as he went 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in 27 innings. Cincinnati transitioned him back to the rotation, where he was solid, finishing 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 111 strikeouts in 128 innings.

The 29-year-old looked to be one of the brightest young pitchers in baseball early in his career, playing in the 2013 All-Star Game and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young voting. But he missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and after a strong 2015 season, he exceeded his innings limit that postseason and has never been the same pitcher since.

It's possible that pitching an extra workload after coming off Tommy John surgery wasn't the primary factor in his sharp decline. But there's a clear line of demarcation between when Harvey appeared to be one of the best pitchers in baseball and when his performance dropped off a cliff, and it's located between the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

For the Angels, the hope that Harvey regains stardom is far-fetched. But if he even gets back to the level of a serviceable fourth or fifth starter, his acquisition will be a boon. Los Angeles lacks depth at starting pitcher, with only Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney and Jaime Barria looking like locks in the rotation. Harvey should secure a starting role as well.

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