Yankees and Matt Harvey turning into the perfect fit

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 22: Matt Harvey #32 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on May 22, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 22: Matt Harvey #32 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on May 22, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is struggling in a thin market to acquire badly needed help to stabilize the clubs rotation. Matt Harvey is showing why he could be the perfect fit.

I want to preface this article with some of the main reasons that baseball executives, writers and fans have shouted as to why the Yankees cannot and should not acquire former Met Matt Harvey: The “media circus” that would ensue, and Harvey’s past; including erratic behavior that was also a clubhouse distraction.

The Yankees are probably the leading experts when it comes to a “media circus,” and how to handle it if it benefits their club. Some recent examples included:

  • The awkward firing of Joe Girardi and subsequent hiring of a completely inexperienced Aaron Boone.
  • C.C. Sabathia’s alcohol dependency issue that ended in his entering rehab.
  • The trade that brought a troubled Aroldis Chapman from the Reds after domestic abuse allegations arose while he was still in Cincy.
  • The acquisition of Alex Rodriguez and his recurring PED problems during his long-term contract while also being baseball’s highest paid player.

These are just a few items that made headlines, putting the Yankees on the front page in recent years.

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Back when George M. Steinbrenner was running the club, there was constant upheaval.

Steinbrenner’s hirings and firings of managers, sometimes before they could unpack and change their underwear in New York, dominated mainstream media. His grand acquisitions and blockbuster trades that contributed to the Bombers being so dominant over the last 40 years cast the moniker of “The Evil Empire” from a galaxy, far, far, away, to the Bronx.

My point is that the Yankees know how to manage circus-like events better than just about any sports team in the world, and they are also pretty good at player rehabilitation.

The question posed in this article is if a Matt Harvey acquisition benefit the Yanks enough to take on the risk of his potential disruptive behavior, the clubhouse effect and the media uproar it could cause?

So why should the Yankees bring the “The Dark Knight” back to NYC?

Matt Harvey is just 29-years-old. He is a former ace, once considered by many to be the best pitcher in baseball, and knows all about the pressure of competing in the Big Apple.

Harvey has always dreamed of pitching for the Yankees, unlike another trade candidate, Cole Hamels who still has the Bombers on his no-trade list from his days when he first pitched for the Phillies. Harvey has expressed his desire many times over to wear the pinstripes, and one must consider that his behavior would be of a model citizen if he ever gets the chance.

A source very close to Harvey has confirmed this to me.

The cost to acquire him regarding prospects would be far less than most of the other starting pitchers on the trade market. The balance of Harvey’s salary for this year would cost the Yankees around $2 million, which would still leave plenty of money to acquire another pitcher or bat if need be.

Harvey’s last six starts are far better than any of the others in his class and the trajectory to continue racking up wins has gone way up. After his latest performance, the Cincinnati Enquirer had this to say about the former University of North Carolina product.

"Harvey, the 29-year-old right-hander, is looking like the ace he once was for the New York Mets. Harvey went five innings and allowed one run on four hits in the Reds’ 9-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals before a crown of 45,891 at Busch Stadium.He walked two and struck out five. The only quibble with his outing: He needed 94 pitches to get 15 outs.The trade deadline is July 31. It’s widely assumed the Reds will flip Harvey, who is a free agent after the season."

Harvey has recently faced five good teams including two NL division leaders in the Cubs (twice), Braves, Brewers and the Cardinals in his last five starts and has not allowed over two earned runs in any outing. In fact, Harvey has allowed just six runs in his last 29 innings while fanning 23. He’s 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA during that span.

So why wouldn’t the Yanks take a chance on a former ace under 30, who seems to have found his once dominant form or is very close to it, and whose dream has always been to be a Yankee?

The cost of Harvey’s acquisition is cheap compared to anyone like him that is available, and again, it seems like he wants to play baseball without distraction.

Next: Tigers like Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade for Michael Fulmer

Is that Matt Harvey worth the gamble? Absolutely. The Yankees passed on him the first time around, so maybe the second time is the charm.

The worst-case scenario, Cashman can drop Harvey at the end of the season once he’s eligible for free agency. Best case, the Yankees might find this year’s version of 2017 Justin Verlander.