New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced this afternoon, that the team asked pitcher Matt Harvey to accept a minor league assignment, but embattled right-hander refused which he can do because of his major league service time.
Alderson told reporters that he, manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland all met with Harvey and tried to convince him that he could rebuild himself in the minor leagues and return once he was ready.
However Harvey was having none of it so they decided to designate him for assignment. They will now have seven days to trade him or release him outright. “You can bet a few teams will be willing to take a shot on him,” Alderson added.
“This was a long time coming. The move to the bullpen was dramatic in itself… At this point, pragmatism and realism far outweighed all other considerations,” Alderson said. “His stuff just wasn’t playing the way it should and there were some mechanical issues.”
Mickey Callaway said he felt like him and Dave Eiland failed Matt Harvey. “We thought, from our evaluation in spring training, we could get him to where we wanted him to be and we didn’t. We tried things. It’s more of a feeling that, when your players don’t succeed, you feel it.”
“We feel like we failed Matt Harvey. I think our job is to help every player in there, and it’s not a good feeling when you can’t. So we have to obviously get better at our jobs too.”
Harvey, 29, was 0-2 this season with a 7.00 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 27 innings pitched He was sent to the bullpen after four brutal starts and didn’t fare any better. In his four relief appearances with his final one coming on Thursday night, against the Braves when he allowed five runs in two innings.
Despite a remarkable comeback in 2015 following Tommy John surgery, Harvey was never the same following shoulder surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016.
Harvey will finish his Mets career with a 34-37 record and a 3.66 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.19 WHIP and 612 strikeouts in 639.1 innings pitched. He was an All-Star in 2013 and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting that season. In 2013, his best as a major leaguer, he went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 6.16 SO/W.
Harvey was drafted by the Mets in the first round of the 2010 draft from the University of North Carolina and made his major league debut on July 26, 2012 with 11 strikeouts in 5.1 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Sad day for the franchise and the end of an era.