Athletics to sign Matt Harvey to a minor-league deal, reports say

The Oakland Athletics will enter Thursday two games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the race for the American League's second wild card. They'll also enter Thursday with one more famous pitcher under their employ. That's because the A's reportedly agreed to a minor-league deal with free-agent right-hander Matt Harvey on Wednesday night, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman:

Harvey, 30, was released in July by the Los Angeles Angels. He had started 12 games for the Angels, posting a 7.09 ERA (65 ERA+) and 1.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 59 innings. Harvey's strikeout rate (5.9 per nine innings) is the worst of his career.

The A's are hoping they can get Harvey back on track. Remember, he isn't far removed from being a solid starter for the Cincinnati Reds last season. In 24 games with the Reds, he held a 93 ERA+ and struck out nearly four batters for every one walked.

One key difference for Harvey was the effectiveness of his slider. Whereas batters hit .207 against the pitch last season, this year they've hit .254. Being fair, the slider has missed bats more often in 2019 than in 2018. Still, Harvey would probably trade the additional whiffs for fewer hits.

The Athletics have been proactive adding to their rotation over the past month-plus, having traded for Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark ahead of the deadline and now signing Harvey. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories