Not long ago, Matt Harvey was one of the most sought-after arms in fantasy baseball. After entering the league in 2012, he posted a gleaming 2.53 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 from 2012-15 despite missing the 2014 season to Tommy John surgery. However, 2016 saw Harvey take a turn for the worse, and his decline continued in 2017. A nagging shoulder injury limited him to just 19 appearances last season, marking the second straight year in which he pitched fewer than 100 innings. Batters hit a lofty .291 against Harvey as his fastball appeared completely flat, with his FIP reaching a career-high 6.37. Harvey didn't make things easier for himself with his control, or lack thereof, as he posted a dismal 10.4 percent walk rate. He figures to be in the rotation, but the honeymoon in fantasy is long over. Less volatile options can be found at his same price point.
Harvey signed a one-year, $5.625 million contract with the Mets on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Harvey was limited to just 18 starts this past season as he was hampered by a nagging shoulder injury. In his 92.2 innings of work, the former ace posted a career-worst 6.70 ERA and a similarly disappointing 4.6 percent K-BB%. Harvey will get another crack in the Mets' starting rotation in 2018, but he'll need to piece together quite the turnaround in order to salvage any fantasy value. The 28-year-old isn't worth investing in outside of the deepest formats.
Harvey (5-7) took the loss Friday against the Phillies. He allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three over four innings. Harvey's rocky, injury-plagued season came to a close Friday in what was his fourth consecutive start in which he was unable to work past the fourth inning. The 28-year-old will wrap up the month of September having allowed 28 earned runs over six starts spanning a total of 22.1 innings (roughly 3.2 innings per start). Two years removed from posting a 2.71 ERA during the Mets' World Series runner-up campaign, Harvey will conclude the 2017 season with a dreadful 6.70 ERA. His fantasy outlook heading into the offseason is especially bleak and he'll likely serve as no more than a late-round flier in deeper fantasy formats in 2018 drafts.
The Mets will tender Harvey a contract for 2018, Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com reports. While Harvey owns an unsightly 11.78 ERA and 10:9 K:BB in 18.1 innings (five appearances) since returning from the disabled list at the beginning of September, the Mets still see value in him for next season. According to Heyman, he's expected to make a similar figure to his $5.12 million 2017 salary, a price at which the Mets view him as cost efficient. While New York is optimistic about the former ace bouncing back next season, he'll head into 2018 as one of the more volatile fantasy players given his struggles over the past two seasons.
Harvey will replace Noah Syndergaard (lat) in the second inning of Saturday's contest against the Nationals, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reports. Instead of earning the "start," Harvey will enter the game in the second inning following Syndergaard's first game back on the mound since April. Besides this slight abnormality, everything else should go on as planned for Harvey, who is coming off a rough start against the Marlins on Monday. During his four September outings, Harvey has posted a 13.19 ERA and 2.72 WHIP in 14.1 innings of work.
General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets plan on tendering a contract to Harvey in 2018, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Puma threw out a guess of a $6 million arbitration figure in Harvey's final year of that system. That may seem like a lot, considering he holds a 13.19 ERA in the four starts since returning from the disabled list, but the Mets seem more willing to spend one more year trying to fix him instead of seeing him flee and thriving with another organization. The former ace's tumultuous season, in which he's dealt with recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and a stress injury in his scapula, positions him as one of the most volatile fantasy players heading into next year, considering his offseason and spring news may swing his draft-day price wildly for either better or worse than the risk-reward cost in 2017.