Matt Harvey designated for assignment by Mets after refusing minors stint

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The long and turbulent marriage between Matt Harvey and the New York Mets has finally ended.

The one-time ace and former All-Star will be designated for assignment after refusing to be sent to the minors, GM Sandy Alderson announced on Friday afternoon. Once official, the move will end a tenure that began with great promise and success, but was ultimately defined by injury and controversy over his night life habits. .

“This was a long time coming,” Alderson told reporters.

Fall from grace

Once a highly-touted prospect, Harvey broke out in 2013, with a 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts over 178 innings. He started the All-Star Game for the Mets in front of the home fans at Citi Field and it looked as if he’d be the next ace to rule over New York.

Misfortune, however, soon struck as Harvey tore his UCL in August. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October and missed the entire 2014 season.

Harvey returned in 2015, posting a 13-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 189 innings as the Mets won the National League pennant. Shoulder issues brought an early end to his 2016 season and he hasn’t been the same pitcher since.

More interested in partying

Harvey never shied away from the lifestyle afforded an athlete in New York City, dating supermodels and hitting up top clubs. That in itself wasn’t a problem, though he was suspended after not showing up for a game in 2017 amid tabloid reports that he had been out partying the night before.

Asked earlier this week about reports that Harvey had been partying in Los Angeles the night before a start in San Diego, Alderson simply remarked that he wasn’t surprised in the slightest.

Where will he land?

Harvey started four games in 2018 before being sent to the bullpen. He currently holds a 0-2 record with a 7.00 ERA, only striking out 20 batters in 27 innings.

It remains to be seen when and where Harvey will land, but he will obviously bring a lot of baggage. Still, he’s only 29 and there will be at least a few teams hoping a change of scenery will allow Harvey to focus on finding the pitching that he used to be.

Scott Boras told Lindsey Adler of The Athletic that he believes Harvey is still a starting pitcher and that he could not develop all of his pitches while serving a bullpen role.

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