The Brewers Are Having "Ongoing" Talks with the Reds About Trading for Matt Harvey

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The Brewers Are Having “Ongoing” Talks with the Reds About Trading for Matt Harvey

Chicago Cubs

When the Cincinnati Reds traded for the oft-maligned, former ace, and free-agent-to-be, Matt Harvey earlier this season, the move garnered two main reactions from people:

  1. What?! Why? And
  2. Oh, I see you, Reds.

Signing or trading for former studs who’ve since fallen off in hopes that they can reclaim some early-career magic – cough, Cole Hamels, cough! – and be spun for a better return down the line is a common practice. But trying to do it in, what, a quarter of a season (from the time they acquired him to the deadline) when he had fallen this far was going to be tough … and they might just pull it off.

Indeed, in the 12 starts he’s made since joining the Reds (it’s actually been 13, but his las start was so egregiously bad it really overshadows the quality of his overall body of work), Matt Harvey has earned a 3.64 ERA with a 3.99 FIP and built up a lot more trade value than the Mets could’ve reasonably expected. And the chatter has not just begun, it’s gotten so obvious, that even the big league team’s Twitter account is teasing a trade:

But it’s much more specific than that. A few days ago, Jerry Crasnick heard that the Reds were prioritizing a deal for Harvey this week, and that the Brewers and Mariners, among a few others, had already shown some interest. And now, that field may have narrowed even further, to a team in the Reds’ (and Cubs!) own division:

Ongoing, eh?

The Brewers have already gone out and added a fairly dominant relief arm in Joakim Soria, but they’re clearly not done yet, as they’re now looking at fortifying a rotation that’s been decimated by injuries all season long, including, most recently, Brent Suter and Zach Davies going down.

Sure, Matt Harvey is not as sexy of an addition as Jose Quintana would have been last year or the rumors of adding someone like Jacob deGrom are this season, but he does fit in the Brewers’ rotation well, has put together a generally solid body of work in Cincinnati, and could benefit from continuing to play in environments less intense than New York. He also won’t really cost too much in terms of a prospect return or dollars, so the Brewers could be happy about that, too.

Now, here’s the thing, though: vverything I said above is true and this remains, probably, a good move for the Brewers if it happens, HOWEVA … if the Brewers are going to add somebody, you probably shouldn’t be too worried if that somebody is Matt Harvey.

Sure, he’s strung together some solid performances lately, but 9 of his 13 outings in Cincinnati have been shorter than 6 innings and he’s allowed four or more runs in four of them. His last time out – against the Pirates – he got blown up for 8 earned runs in 3.2 IP. And all of this, of course, is ignoring the 7.00 ERA (5.68 FIP) he posted in New York before they sent him to Cincinnati.

He’ll probably be able to help them, but it’s not nearly as big of a difference making move as they could make, given that farm system. Who knows, maybe that’s smart, too, when you consider the long term. But for this season, I’m not sure Matt Harvey would significantly help the Brewers. So … I guess what I’m saying is … bring it on, Batman.

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

*The Matt Harvey/Devin Mesoraco deal was more of a bad contract swap than a pure “target a former stud,” move, but the point remains.


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami