Three starting pitchers the Texas Rangers should be willing to overspend on
By Travis Koch
Harvey had a slight revival in 2018. His 4.94 ERA is a little high for comfort, but he did manage 155 innings over 28 starts. However you want to assess it, there’s no arguing the significance of his 2018 season after he tossed only 92 innings in 2016 and ’17.
His fastball is not what it once was, but the 29-year-old still possesses a wipeout curveball. Harvey’s 7.6 K/9 rate was better than Jake Arrieta, Kevin Gausman and Jon Lester. The biggest concern for the right-hander is his forfeiture of the home run ball. He allowed 27 long balls last season and watched a ball leave the ballpark 1.6 times per nine innings.
That is a general concern, but an even greater concern considering a pitcher friendly Globe Life Park. We do not yet know the dimensions of the soon-to-be erected Globe Life Field, though you’d have to think they’ll be somewhat similar.
It’s also important to note that Harvey has never pitched in the American League, which is known to be the more intimidating of the two leagues (from a pitcher’s standpoint).
Reservations aside, the once pride of New York still has upside. What if he taps back into his 2015 self? The year he posted a 2.71 ERA and fanned 188 batters. That’s not likely to happen again, but even if he comes close to those numbers he’d be one of the better pitchers in the league.
The reality is most teams will look at Matt Harvey as a risk. Therefore, teams will throw one-year offers at him in hopes that they strike gold. What if a team offered him three years? Perhaps at a slightly higher price than what the market dictates?
That’s the Texas Rangers’ cue.