Matt Harvey to the Texas Rangers? Inevitable story, unlikely outcome
By Travis Koch
The Texas Rangers are among the reported teams interested in Matt Harvey. Would Texas be wise to take a chance on him?
MLB broke into a tailspin Friday afternoon when news broke that starting pitcher Matt Harvey was designated for assignment by the New York Mets. The decision was a result of Harvey refusing a minor league assignment with New York. Four days since the move was made, emotions have transitioned from shock to curiosity. Curiosity as to which team will take a flyer on Harvey. Among the rumored teams is the Texas Rangers.
What is the likelihood the Texas Rangers acquire Matt Harvey?
We’ll give it maybe a 20% chance. After all, reports claim the Rangers are in company with the San Francisco Giants and the Seattle Mariners as the primary suitors for Harvey. Though, 33% seems a little high.
The Texas Rangers stand out for a few reasons. First of all, Texas doesn’t appear to be in line for any sort of playoff contention. Thus, the team is likely open to experimentation. Secondly, their season trajectory allows a roster spot for Matt Harvey. Harvey clearly does not want to go to the minor leagues; the Rangers are a team that can keep him in the majors. Thirdly, and sadly, a rock-bottomed Matt Harvey could actually fit into the Rangers rotation.
Would Matt Harvey be a good fit?
Texas’ starting pitchers have combined for a 24th ranked 5.20 ERA. The bunch also ranks 24th in MLB in wins with only 13. Within the rotation is Matt Moore, who may not see another start with the Rangers after yet another bad outing against a below average Detroit Tigers offense Monday night. Also, a currently injured Martin Perez, who, prior to injury, was perhaps the worst starting pitcher in all of MLB.
Point being, Matt Harvey could probably step in and either match the struggles of Moore and Perez, or perhaps be a slight improvement.
So, if we extend the question to “Would Matt Harvey be a good fit in a bad starting rotation?” The answer is yes.
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At the end of the day, the Texas Rangers have nothing to lose. The starting staff is already the Achilles Heel to any season success; therefore, why not take on a project?
The best case scenario is the Rangers acquire Matt Harvey, straighten him out and turn him into the incredibly dominant pitcher he was three years ago. The likelihood of that happening? Probably very close to zero.
The worst case scenario? Harvey pitches terribly and contributes to the starting pitching misery that the team has already endured.
Should Texas acquire Harvey if given the chance?
Matt Harvey was in the final year of his contract with the Mets. He is owed $5 million in 2018 and will be a free agent come the offseason. Harvey’s pending free agency, his stubborn relationship with the Mets and his rapid decline are serious red flags for any interested team.
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The Texas Rangers must weigh the pros and cons. Ultimately, he’s not worth the trouble. Texas must evaluate the player, not the name. They already signed one player based off name and history, that player being Tim Lincecum. Though, Harvey is costlier and riskier.