Orioles sign former All-Star Matt Harvey to minor-league contract, per report

The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to terms with right-hander Matt Harvey on a minor-league deal, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman

Harvey, 32 years old come March, appeared in seven games last season with the Kansas City Royals. In 11 innings, he compiled an 11.57 ERA and struck out 10 batters. Harvey’s fastball averaged 94 mph during that stretch, but it generated fewer empty swings than it had the previous season, when he posted a 7.09 ERA in 59 innings with the Los Angeles Angels. (The rest of his arsenal also coerced a worse swinging strike rate, for whatever it’s worth.)

Harvey hasn’t had a run of sustained big-league success since 2018. That’s when, following an in-season trade, he reeled off 24 solid starts with the Reds, posting a 93 ERA+ and a strikeout-to-walk ratio nearing 4.00.

Harvey, of course, rose to fame as a youngster with the New York Mets. In his first 65 big-league starts, he had a 2.53 ERA (146 ERA+) and 4.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Harvey then had a number of health woes, including both Tommy John surgery and an operation to alleviate his thoracic outlet syndrome.

The Orioles have spent the past several weeks adding non-roster options for their pitching staff. Baltimore signed 2010 Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (who opted out of last season because of COVID-19 concerns) to a minor-league deal earlier this week. The O’s also inked Wade LeBlanc to a similar deal. 

Any of those three veterans could, conceivably, find themselves as part of Baltimore’s Opening Day rotation. As it stands, the Orioles are projected by FanGraphs to field a starting five of John Means, Keegan Akin, Dean Kremer, Jorge Lopez, and Hernandez.

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