If you can’t beat them, join them five years later when they’re not a good ball club.
The Kansas City Royals announced on Tuesday morning that they signed former New York Mets ace Matt Harvey to a minor-league deal, providing another chance for the veteran to re-spark his career.
It was the Royals who defeated the Mets in the 2015 World Series, getting to Harvey in the ninth inning of the decisive Game 5 to overturn a 2-0 Mets lead after manager Terry Collins allowed the righty to go out and try to close out the game.
It’s been a long, arduous, and unsatisfying road to redemption for the now-31-year-old, who was once viewed as the savior of the New York Mets back in 2012.
In his first two MLB seasons, he posted a 2.39 ERA in 36 starts, but Tommy John surgery derailed his ascension to superstardom in Queens. He returned for that 2015 season, but drama between him and the organization was created when his agent, Scott Boras, implored the team to implement an innings limit for the starter.
More injury concerns and off-field issues saw the relationship between Harvey and the Mets deteriorate while his numbers plummeted. After going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 2015, Harvey went 9-17 with a 5.78 ERA.
The struggles continued into 2018 when his ERA swelled to 7.00, prompting a demotion to the bullpen. But when the Mets tried to option him to triple-A, Harvey demanded a trade mid-season, and the Mets sent him to the Cincinnati Reds.
A change of scenery didn’t help. Harvey used a 7-7, 4.50 ERA half-season with the Reds to grab a deal with the Los Angeles Angels, but he didn’t have it in 2019, going 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA.
Former Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who is working with the Oakland Athletics, brought Harvey on in an attempt to get his career back on track, but he didn’t see the majors. Since then, Harvey had been without a club.
With a hodgepodge of arms in Kansas City that includes some rookies like Kyle Zimmer and Brady Singer, Harvey adds an experienced arm to the mix, but an inability to catch on with the Royals could see his MLB days numbered sooner rather than later.